The 2020 Good News Letter
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
While many of us are ready to leave 2020 in the past, we want to take a moment to celebrate the achievements made by Nova Scotia’s culinary industry.
Over the past 12 months, we’ve been inspired by the tireless work by local businesses to consistently develop new ways to connect with Nova Scotians. Join us as we reflect on the past year and a few of the triumphs of our restaurants and producers, reminding us that there are so many things in 2020 to be proud of.
The Take Out Transformation
On March 17, bars and restaurants across the province were forced to shut down due to rising health concerns surrounding the pandemic. Restaurants, producers, and markets across the province quickly altered their businesses to offer online ordering, curbside pickup, walk-up windows, contactless delivery, take out, and more.
We think of those behind the scenes who worked during a time of crisis in order to bring a few bites, sips, and moments of joy to our home. Some restaurants like Kiju’s Restaurant in Sydney and the Nook & Cranny Brew Pub in Truro, began offering grocery boxes for sale to their community, while many businesses including Sober Island Bewing Company and d’Eon Oyster Company began offering door-to-door delivery and shipping across the province.
On top of these services, many businesses went above and beyond to create new products and menus, all while ensuring our safety.
Despite facing challenges of their own, we saw countless local businesses generously giving back to their communities this year. Here are a just a few examples of this:
- At the very start of the pandemic, we saw restaurants across the province donate fresh produce and other food items to Feed Nova Scotia.
- The Canteen opened up The Canteen Community Kitchen, preparing 400 – 500 meals per week for distribution to those in need, in partnership with the North Grove and Margaret’s House in Dartmouth.
- Benjamin Bridge supported frontline health workers by donating a percentage of Nova 7 purchases to local hospital foundations.
- The Biscuit Eater understood the financial impact the pandemic could have on residents and offered a Community Care take out menu with much lower pricing.
- The Barn Coffee & Social House provided free hot drinks to frontline workers.
- In partnership with the NSCC, the Ostrich Club supported a culinary diversity award for students studying in the culinary industry.
- Mateus Bistro donated meals to the Bridgewater RCMP detachment.
- With support from North Brewing, Battery Park cooked and packed up meals for the Margaret’s House meals-to-go program.
- Garrison Brewing released their Stay the Blazes Home Blonde Ale, donating a portion of each purchase to Feed Nova Scotia.
- Nova Coffee launched their Hero Blend to support frontline workers – they now donate 20 per cent of the proceeds from this coffee to the QEII Hospital Foundation.
- Lake City Cider teamed up with Change is Brewing Co. to develop a collaboration cider with 100 per cent of the sales donated to a local non-profit that supports the BIPOC community.
- Recognizing the class of 2020 wouldn’t be able to celebrate in the traditional way, the Argyler Lodge hosted special grad and prom pop ups for students and families.
From Spirits to Sanitizer
Not long into lockdown, many Nova Scotia craft distilleries pivoted their businesses from craft spirits to… craft sanitizer! Not only did this innovation help Nova Scotians in a time of shortage, but many distilleries also donated sanitizer to local healthcare facilities and essential workers.
Taste member distilleries who develop hand sanitizer include: Authentic Seacoast Company, Coldstream Clear Distillery, Barrelling Tide Distillery, Compass Distillers, Glenora Inn & Distillery, Ironworks Distillery, Raging Crow Distillery, Steinhart Distillery, Still Fired Distilleries, and Tipping Point Distillers.
Virtual Cooking School
While stuck at home many were faced with the challenge of cooking more regularly. Thanks to several incredible local chefs, it wasn’t so bad after all! We learned helpful tips and tricks through virtual cooking classes brought to us by Founder’s House, The Orient Chinese Cuisine, Kitchen Door, and more. The Kilted Chef even began his own Facebook live show which has become a weekly tradition for many across the province and some businesses, like Boxing Rock Brewing Company launched fun online courses like “Virtual Beer School.”
Cheers to 2021
As we enter 2021, although we haven’t left the challenges of the pandemic behind, we hope this blog reminded you of the achievements of the last year. We encourage you to remember that your locally bought produce, bowl of chowder, or craft beverage, all help support communities and businesses across Nova Scotia. Every time you dig in or take a sip, you’re experiencing a part of their story.
If you know a Taste of Nova Scotia member business who has a piece of good news and should be included in this blog, please reach out and let us know!