As the popular proverb states, ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ and for Christal Cadette that single step was a positive change in her attitude , setting her on a path to become not only a favorite of visiting guests, but an excellent ambassador for Sandals Halcyon Beach resort and Saint Lucia.
For the past 10 years, 28 year old Christal who hails from the community of Ciceron, has been part of the Sandals family.
While her journey, like many others was filled with trials, Christal shares how she faced and overcame them.
“It has been a lot, from raising my three beautiful children, maintaining a work life balance, and just dealing with all the challenges of life. There were days that were difficult, days when I felt broken, but I kept a smile on my face regardless, knowing that not every day would be the best or easiest. At the beginning of my journey at Sandals it dawned on me one day, kind of like an epiphany, that I was part of a company that invested in me and I needed to capitalize on that. I felt like there was more that I could give, so on that day I promised myself to make an effort to invest in me. I changed my way of thinking.”
She added, “It wasn’t an instant shift, it was one I had to reiterate to myself daily. I started to learn what worked for me, what my strengths were, which I realized was consistency. As a restaurant server, I started timing myself with everything I did, I knew my pace and was soon after able to perform my duties in record time. This all lead to the realization that the hospitality industry was for me. I was eager to give great service to my guests. I found my passion!”
It’s no surprise that Christal now shines in her chosen field. She recalls that ever since she was a child she had a knack for customer service.
“After graduating from the Ciceron Secondary School I spent a lot of my days in the Castries Market assisting my aunt with selling souvenirs to tourists. I noticed that every Thursday a specific boat would dock in the Castries Harbor and its’ passengers would all flood the market in search of cold beverages. My dad gifted me with a cooler which I stocked on a daily basis with iced cold local beers. The response was tremendous, I would have to quickly restock several times a day to keep up with the demand and then I included water and soft drinks.”
Soon it was not just tourists who purchased from Christal but locals.
While she might have boasted the coldest drinks in town, it was the warmth of her personality that kept everyone coming back for more.
One day Christal learnt of the Sandals Hospitality Training Programme (HTP) and soon applied. It was the beginning of a journey that she reflects on with fondness.
“I never imagined that this would have the beginning of such a transformational journey for me. At the end of the 10-week training, I got the class award for Most Outstanding which I dedicated to my father. I was placed at Sandals Grande and during my time there I was able to work at every single restaurant at that resort which few people have been able to do. I moved over to Sandals Halcyon in 2019 in the same position and soon after that, my general manager selected me to be part of the team to launch the first ever breakfast experience at the famous Kelly’s Dockside restaurant over the water.”
Christal continues to wow both her colleagues and guests to this day, and is frequently commended on r her outstanding service.
One guest posted, “Christal at Kelly’s was an absolute angel who greeted and treated us as family from the moment we met. Her kindness in recognizing and celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary during a casual breakfast at Kelly’s went far beyond any expectations. The list of specifics is lengthy but suffice it to say that Christal very clearly displayed her caring heart, one that we’ll always cherish.”
Another posted “Christal will make your experience super special so make sure you go find her.” And yet another, “We are being spoilt here at Sandals Halcyon for our wedding/honeymoon. Especially from Christal who sang us a romantic song at Kelly’s Dockside for our Special Breakfast and she made our day.”
Christal, nonetheless had her sights set on growing even further, and her next goal was to become part of the prestigious Sandals Butler programme.
She achieved that goal in March 2023, by completing the required coursework through the Sandals Corporate University.
Christal is still charming her guests, and continues to fly not only the Sandals flag, but that of Saint Lucia to the world.