Get to Know Cher Diller & Jason Strohan, owners of St. Tropez Bistro + Parlor

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At Refined, we recognize the importance of local businesses in our community. They are the engine that makes our economy run — employing people, taking risks, meeting market needs, and supporting important causes. So often, we only see the business — the storefront, the products, the services — and never really get to know the business owner behind the scenes making everything happen. Refined is proud to profile two business owners who are winning at their game, and help you get to know them better with some personal and fun questions.

Where did you grow up/which schools did you attend? Cher: I am a prairie girl, born in Prince Albert, lived in Moose Jaw, (Palliser Heights Elementary School), then Regina (Sheldon Williams Collegiate) and now call Saskatoon home. Jason: I was born and raised in Saskatoon, and went to River Heights Elementary and City Park High School.

What led you into this business/career? Cher: I started working in the service industry when I was 14 years old, working for my Dad at Wendy’s. After high school, I worked in a few different bars and restaurants and then became a hairstylist. I returned to the restaurant side shortly after Jason and I were married. Jason: My parents opened their first restaurant when I was 11 years old and put me to work washing dishes. When I was 12, they purchased the St. Tropez Bistro, so I ended up in the industry by growing up in and around the restaurant business.

What do you love most about your business? Cher: Meeting new people Jason: Seeing my friends and customers coming in and enjoying an evening out.

What is your most important characteristic? Cher & Jason: A strong work ethic and a drive to do things the best we can.

How do you support the community/social causes? Through the Bistro and now Parlor, we like to donate to draws or silent auctions. Every year, we choose a cause near and dear to our hearts and try to support it in any way that we can. Cher does what she can for her favourite animal rescues such as SCAT and New Hope Dog Rescue.

What do you value in your friends? Cher: My good friends know I don’t have much spare time, and I love that they never question if they haven’t heard from me in awhile. When we get together, we just pick up where we left off. Jason: Being able to just hang out and chat about things that interest us.

Who is the living person that you admire most? Cher: I can never pick just one person. I admire different people for different things. Jason: Elon Musk, for his hard work ethic and drive as an entrepreneur and engineer to make things better for current and future generations.

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self? Cher: Don’t be afraid to do/try new things or go on new adventures. Jason: Learn to delegate.

Let’s talk favourites:

Vacation – Cher & Jason: Hawaii

BookCher: Too many to list; Jason: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Movie – Cher: Breakfast Club/Reality Bites; Jason: Breakfast Club

Song – Cher: Anything I can dance to; Jason: Funny Valentine by Chet Baker

Food – Cher: Spaghetti; Jason: Anything I have grown myself.

Dessert – Cher: Anything dark chocolate; Jason: Anything chocolate

Vehicle – Cher: Not really a car person; Jason: Anything reliable

Way to relax – Cher: Being outdoors/sipping on a glass of wine; Jason: walks and being in nature

What is your motto? Cher: Do what you love and love what you do; Jason: Everything in moderation.

What talent would you like to have? Cher: I wish I could sing; Jason: To be more musical.

What would your friends say are your best/worst traits? Cher: Best is empathetic and worst is impatience. Jason: Best is honesty and worst is not taking more time to relax.

When did you make a difference? Cher: There was a woman feeding the feral cats in the park in Waikiki, and when I gave her some money to donate to the charity she volunteered for, she teared up and thanked me, saying there was no such charity and that she had just used up the last of her own money. She didn’t know when she would have extra money again and was so happy that she would be able to keep feeding the park cats for a while longer. Jason: Helping my Grandma after my Grandpa passed, doing odd jobs and just keeping her company when she needed someone to be there.

What brings you joy? Cher: My animals… spending time with Jason and our critters doing the things that we love to do together. Jason: Spending time out at our farm with Cher and our cat, Lily and dog, Nani.

How did you know you were on the right path? Cher: Still figuring that out, but I think I am getting close. Jason: I’m still not sure that I am.

Do you ever consider closing your doors? What business advice would you give to others?

Cher: Not really, at least not yet. My advice is you can only do the best that you can, and to never give up. Jason: Yes, a few times. My advice is to do your best every day.

 

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