Employee Highlights: Jason Morgan


At Alto-Hartley, we know that it’s our team that makes the experience of working with us special. To help get to know them a little better, we’re introducing our new Employee Highlights series. We’ll sit down with one of them to find out a little more about them and help you do the same.

Our first Employee Highlights feature is with our Store Manager, Jason Morgan. With Alto-Hartley for 9 years, Jason works with our sales team and helps customers with any questions they may have. Let’s get to know Jason a little better!

Hi Jason! How did you get started in the foodservice industry?

Growing up in Canada, I was exposed to different ethnic foods. My mother is Jamaican, so there was Jamaican food. My grandmother was a baker, so there were baked goods. The babysitter was Korean, so I had Korean food. My mom’s best friend was Italian, so Italian food. We had Indian neighbors, so of course, Indian food. I loved it all!

The only thing that upset me was I hated waiting for all that food. So I learned how to cook so I could make the food myself. My mother stayed hip to popular food trends. So she showed me how to make almost all the dishes I enjoyed so much.

I was working in a kitchen while in high school. I also had a best friend whose father was the head chef at Monroe’s Restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia. His father showed me the difference between all of the jobs in the kitchen, and I fell in love with every part of the restaurant business.

The industry is ever-evolving. Are there any trends you see taking shape you expect to stay?

Very hard to say. However, I feel that everything has its turn, and that turn will come around again and again. As we keep reaching toward new horizons, what is new to some is old to others. And that gives the next generations a chance to put their twist on it. Or even simplify it.

The Alto-Hartley showroom is full of tools that help commercial kitchens succeed. Do you have a favorite kitchen tool or appliance that you use in your own home?

My mixing bowls, baking trays, and my Vitamix.

Do you have a favorite restaurant you can’t get enough of?

Pastries by Randolph in Arlington, Virginia

What’s your go-to order when you head out for a meal?

That’s a complex question – it depends on what I’m eating.

Jamaican: Escovitch fish

Chinese: Peking Duck

Japanese: Ramen

Korean: Bugolgi

What’s something you think everyone should know about Alto-Hartley?

The Level of excellence that we salesmen reach for. We’d rather not sell an item if we know it’s not what you need or it’s going to be a problem in the future for your situation. The happier the customer is, the happier we are. We want your respect and happiness before we want your money.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever enjoyed?

I love food too much to answer a broad question such as that with a simple answer. It’s too disrespectful to the other foods I’ve enjoyed!

Broken down, here’s where I’ll start (the list could go on forever):

Jamaican Food: Markets at Faiths Pen Jamaica, WI

Fish and chips: Golden Crips, Toronto, Canada

Chinese Food:  The Mandarin in Toronto, Canada or China Garden, in Arlington, Virginia

Greek Food: Lia’s Fathers (my cousin’s father-in-law) Toronto, Canada

Dessert: Demetres on Danforth, Toronto, Canada

Ribeye Steak:  Nick and Sams, Dallas, Texas

Tomahawk Steak:  Del Frisco’s, Washington, D.C.

Tenderloin Steak:  Johnathan & Kyles  Alexandria, Virginia

Do you have a place you’d love to visit one day?

Either Japan or Seoul, South Korea

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I’m always working! Even in my sleep

Thanks so much for sharing your passion with us Jason!