On the weekend before she was supposed to start at Pagliacci, Caitlin Stoskopf broke her leg badly while rock climbing. “I'm a very reliable person,” Caitlin says. “So it crushed my soul to say I can't come for the first day.”
After surgery, on her first actual day in the office, she designed metallic stick-on tattoos. Later, multicolored chalk in hand, she created a welcome chalkboard for one of the stores. Next, she brainstormed a word cloud for a community group that Pagliacci supports.
Five years later, Caitlin’s job is still difficult to define. “People ask me all the time, what I do, and it's not easy to sum up,” Caitlin says. “I do graphic design and photography for Pagliacci, but that involves so much — training documents, the website, marketing materials, menus, flyers, posters, food packaging, merchandise, and so much more.”
Caitlin was honored with Pagliacci's prestigious 'Service Beyond Expectations' company-wide award this year.
After double-majoring at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Fine Arts and Media Production and Performance, she spent two years with Americorps, then she got into food service. She spent five years managing a community bakery and café in southern Illinois before moving to Chicago for a management role with True Food Kitchen, followed by a stint working for James Beard award-winning chef Takashi Yagihashi. But much as she enjoyed the fast pace and high energy of restaurant management, Caitlin longed to get back to her creative roots.
She returned to Seattle from Chicago, yearning for a lifestyle change that would allow her to have weekends off and utilize her art and media skills. In college, through roles with the student-run TV station and as a supervisor in the Multimedia Services department, she got a lot of hands-on experience in TV and video production. “Nothing teaches better than doing,” says Caitlin.
At Pagliacci, she combines those skills, including her talent as an illustrator, with her knowledge of the food and food service. “The day-to-day creative challenges are wonderful,” says Caitlin. “I like the work and the people. The philosophy of the company is also compelling. My PLU background instilled in me the ethos of doing good in your community. Some of my projects involve Pagliacci’s work to end chronic homelessness, environmental efforts, or working with community groups like Community Passageways. I feel best when I'm with a company that cares. And I genuinely feel that Pagliacci cares. If you have great people around you and a healthy environment that you're working in, it makes you want to stay. So here I am five years later.”
Caitlin and her fiancé, Jeff, will be married mid-September, followed by a honeymoon in Italy and Switzerland. Together, they bought a house in West Seattle that they rent out as an Airbnb. The venture has proven both rewarding and challenging. “I'm tired of folding laundry, but it’s so satisfying to see all the good reviews,” says Caitlin. Avid fans of the Kraken hockey team, Jeff and Caitlin hold season tickets and stay active running, bicycling, and playing tennis and pickleball.
“Breaking my leg might have seemed like an unfortunate beginning, but it gave me some insight into the company,” says Caitlin. “They let me use paid time off I hadn't even earned yet. It boded well. They’ve been very supportive in every way since.”