For more than two months, we’ve been highlighting the charitable endeavours of Canada’s culinary community in response to the effects of COVID-19. We’ve noted again and again how remarkable for an industry that has been so negatively impacted by the nationwide pandemic to still contribute so significantly to those who have been hit hardest.
So, it should come as no surprise that in response to the country’s dire need to combat inequality, segregation of opportunity, and systematic racism, Canada’s food and drink community has stepped up yet again.
Whether through monetary contributions, fundraising campaigns, or by initiatives that work to amplify the voices of Canada’s Black, Indigenous, and people of colour community, here are some of the ways that Canadian hospitality heavyweights are giving back.
From June 1 to 8, Monogram Coffee allocated 100 per cent of drink sales to Action Dignity--a Calgary organization that promotes racial equity, inclusion, and cultural awareness in public systems and policies. The Calgary-based cafe also recently announced that going forward, Monogram will dedicate all drink sales from the first day of every month to BIPOC initiatives.
Gusto 54 Restaurant Group
For the entire month of June, Gusto 54 Restaurant Group properties will be donating $1 from every takeout sale to the Black Legal Action Centre, a non-profit community legal clinic that provides free legal services for low- or no-income Black residents of Ontario; Black Health Alliance, a community-led charity working to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada; and Urban Alliance, a non-profit charitable organization that works proactively with the community, public, and private sectors to provide critical educational programs and research.
As a way to provide ongoing support to organizations that combat racism and other issues affecting BIPOC, Revel Cider recently announced that they will be donating $500 from each new release this year to various initiatives. Since their announcement on June 4, Revel Cider has already released three new ciders, which led to a $1,000 donation to the Black Legal Action Centre, and a $500 donation to the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.
Juke Fried Chicken and Beetbox
This week, Juke Fried Chicken co-owners Justin Tisdall and Bryan Satterford repurposed their weekly Industry Monday Restaurant Relief Hour and were able to raise a total of $500 for Know Your Rights Camp. The staff at Juke’s sister restaurant, Beetbox, have also donated $500 to the cause, which Tisdall and Satterford have agreed to match.
Breaking Bread Now
In an effort to further champion restaurants, chefs, and entrepreneurs in the Black community, SMC Communications’s non-profit initiative, Breaking Bread, dedicated last week’s content to a series that highlighted four prominent Black Canadians and their favourite Black-owned businesses.
In addition to telling the stories of Justin Tisdall, Eden Hagos, Dorrington Reid, and Lillian Umurungi-Jung, Breaking Bread also made individual $250 donations to BIPOC initiatives on their behalf.
Black is Beautiful
Weathered Souls Brewing Company, a brewery located in San Antonio, Texas, recently launched the Black is Beautiful initiative to bring awareness to the injustices that many people of colour face daily. The brewery is donating 100 per cent of proceeds from a newly created stout recipe and have called on their peers to follow suit with their own stout concoctions.
The Black is Beautiful initiative now features 448 breweries from 11 different countries, including Canadian breweries such as Cabin Brewing Company, Bobcaygen Brewing, 5 Paddles Brewing, and many more. More information on joining or donating to the growing movement can be found online.
DownLow Chicken Shack and DownLow Burgers
DownLow Chicken Shack and sister restaurant DownLow Burgers are donating a portion of last week’s sales--up to $7,000--to Hogan’s Alley Society, an organization that advocates for Black Vancouverites who have suffered from gentrification and their subsequent erasure from the city’s historical narrative.
Ill-Fated Kustoms owners Kenny and Jenn Kwan have gained a reputation over the years for their efforts in building and supporting the community in Calgary. As a way to contribute toward the Black Lives Matter movement, the couple has elected to donate 100 per cent of sales from their new barista counter and takeout window for the entirety of the summer to financially support Black-Canadian organizations and anti-racism groups.
Last week, Halifax's Bar Kismet devoted the entirety of proceeds earned from its local apple and rhubarb crumble to the Black Lives Matter Solidarity Fund N.S. With the help and support of their community, Bar Kismet completely was sold out of the item and was able to raise a total of $2,000.