Dessert Island: Risa Dickens from Yelp Montreal
Welcome to Félix & Norton’s “Dessert” Island (it’s like a desert island, but sweeter)! You can bring one book, one album, one podcast and one flavour of Felix & Norton cookies. Each month, we’ll welcome a cookie castaway to sit down and make these tough decisions - let’s get “desserted”!
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Please introduce yourself
My name is Risa Dickens and I am a senior Community and Marketing Director for Yelp in Montreal. I moved here when I was 10 after having lived in Waterloo (Ontario), Los Angeles and New Brunswick, but Montreal is home.
What do you like most about your job?
I like discovering new places, and getting to know business owners their stories, the effort and passion that they put into their businesses and all of the other things we sometimes miss as customers.
How do you pick a place when eating out?
I use Yelp! I use the map functionality to show what’s around me, then read reviews and let that guide where I’m going. I like places that are different, that serve locally sourced products, fun architecture and history. Not just another place with a gigantic butcher block and Edison lightbulbs.
What is your favourite part of the city?
Little Italy, Mile Ex, Park Ex, NDG… There is cool music, art and food happening all over.
One of the things that makes the city so special is not just what people are eating, it’s also where they’re eating. The picnic scene is so beautiful, especially at the end of summer when everyone is trying to cram in one more perfect day.
Ok, question time: You’re stranded on a desert island, or in our case on a “dessert” island. You can take one book, one album, one podcast and one flavour of our cookies. Which one do you take? Let’s start with the book.
Based on the research I did, the best choice would be the SAS Survival Guide for any Climate. I haven’t read it yet, but I would order it because I’d be going in without any of those skills. If it were a book I enjoy to read, I would really like to take Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.
Which album would you take and why?
The album would be Neil Young’s On the Beach. I like every song on it and we already listen to it on repeat in my house anyway. I don’t think I could ever get sick of it.
Podcasts what’s your choice?
I was recently on a plane, heading home from San Francisco, and someone had recommended this podcast entitled “My Dad Wrote A Porno”. So, there I was, sitting between a middle aged couple who were both on their iPads watching “Once Upon A Time” while I was listening to this filthy podcast where a group of friends hilariously read aloud an erotic novel that one of the guys’ dad wrote. It was so funny! I also listen to Reply All, Mystery Show, Invisibilia, This American Life, Serial and Criminal.
To make your island life a little sweeter, we can grant you a lifetime supply of only one flavour of Félix and Norton cookie -- we know it’s hard to choose. Which will it be?
When we first moved to the city, we lived near Snowdon (a neighbourhood in Montreal). Félix and Norton was just starting to take off, and they were just around the corner from our apartment. If it was a special day, someone would bring them to school and everybody was like: “GASP”. It became a special treat for our family, we would get a box of six cookies and me, my mom and my dad would share.
Click here for more information on where to buy our cookies.