I put my money where my mouth was.
To help our small independent restaurant owners during the last month, I have enjoyed going to a different local independent restaurant/coffee shop/food truck each day. This challenge was difficult as our area only has 30 places nearby so I literally ate at every establishment possible in Arnprior (30 min from Ottawa). After enjoying my meal on the patio or takeout, I would take an Instagram worthy picture of the dish. Then I would post a picture of my meal showcasing the establishment on the local Facebook group to try and promote people to go out and eat/take out at these amazing establishments again.
I came up with the idea after talking to some of the owner’s who expressed how hard the food service business is with COVID slowdown. Many of these once bustling restaurants/coffee shops have had their business drop to up to 60% and are starting to feel the struggles as the patio season draws to a close in Canada. These small independent businesses are vital to our local areas as they serve us great food, provide social settings, provide local employment and help many charities. The best quote I’ve seen lately is, “Remember all the times your small local businesses helped you for charity raffles, sponsorship and giveaways. Well they are calling in the favor”. It’s time for all of us to help these families during this difficult time. If you’re lucky enough to be working and have a bit of disposable income, please support your local community in every way possible. There are many options for delivery and take out to help stay extra safe during Covid. We have been extremely lucky that our area has been very low COVID numbers, since our community has taken excellent precautions. Keep it up Renfew County!
So why is small independent business so important to me?
3 years ago when Scott and I founded Riverwood Acoustics, our primary goal was to create a company that focuses on designing and manufacturing locally to improve our communities. Small independent businesses are the backbone of this country and too often our smaller communities get left behind when large business offshoring and company’s acquisition. Small local businesses not only create valuable local jobs but have a major impact in the local economy through true trickle down job growth and sustainability. I urge everyone to take a second to see where and who makes the product i’m buying when making purchasing decisions to #buylocal. There are some great resources such as #ontariomade and madeincanada to help the consumer find different categories of goods/services. (shameless plug — if you are looking at premium home audio check us out at www.riverwoodacoustics.com)
Alas back to the 30 day / 30 restaurant challenge. So I’m also a bit of a statistics geek, so I figured I’d give everyone an overview:
Total spend : $544.74 (average 18.15 per meal).
Total calories : I don’t want to know!
Weight gain : surprisingly none since I exercised a bit more than normal.
Total Likes : 3,325
Total Comments : 571
Total shares: 72
All places were quite good but here are my favorites:
Favorite Restaurant : Krave (everything these is stellar)
Favorite Dish : Arnprior/Kanata Noodle House, Spicy Chicken Curry Pho
Best Butter tart : Antrim Truck Stop (homemade)
Favorite Beer : Whitewater Brewery Class IV
Favorite Spirit : O’Kenny Craft Spirits (Whiskey)
Best Patio : Negi’s Indian & British Pub — outstanding food
Food Truck (meal) : Tie — Zesty Shawarma , Food express Pad Thai
Food Truck (fries) : Wes
Best Entertainment : Tim Hicks @ Neat Café.
Pizza : Momma Rosas for group, Neat for individual
Best new restaurant — The Cupboard
Pub Grub: Cheshire Cat Fish and Chips
Coffee : Jill and Bean latte’s
Sandwich/Bakery : Mighty Fine Bakehouse & Café
Early on in the challenge, many asked about a formalized review and I would respond that I’m a food promoter only. The goal here is to provide positive post and drive awareness to help the industry. Realistically, I didn’t have a bad meal at any establishment and have stopped at a bunch of places that I normally wouldn’t have tried before as I already had my local favorites. This was a fun way to expand my network and have some great food at the same time. Thanks to everyone who very supportive to all the business through their social presence and I hope that I increased business traffic to these great establishments.
Mighty Fine Backhouse & Café
Negi’s Indian Restaurant
Kanata Noodle House
Lumbertown Ale House
Sweet and Sassy
Steve and Denni’s
Antrim Truck Stop
Food Express (Renfrew)
Negis British Pub
Jack and the Bean Coffee shop
Arnprior Meat Pies
Urban Farm Girls Bakery
Neat Coffee and Music
If you can safely dine, get takeout/delivery please help out your favorite spots. It’s going to be a tough winter season for most. I will continue to do this as much as possible to support our local small independents
Stay Safe and Eat Well!