LITTLE CURRENT -- A Manitoulin Island man will soon see his face on soda bottles across the country. Jones Soda Company is honouring Cody Crawford as part of its "unsung hero" campaign.

Cody Crawford is a restaurant manager at Elliot's in Little Current. Elliot's, like many restaurants, lost a lot of staff when business dried up due to COVID-19 restrictions, so Crawford has had to wear many hats to keep the business going.

"It's pretty bizarre – it's going to be funny to see it, like, in person, and I have some friends looking for it in Ottawa," he said. "They're going to go out and look for some bottles of soda with my face on it."

Wife nominated him

Crawford's wife and colleague Taylor Cote nominated him for the honour after seeing how hard he was working at the restaurant.

"I just thought, you know, he deserves some credit and all restaurant workers deserve some credit right now," Cote said.

"I mean obviously we appreciate the frontline workers and hospital workers so much, but there are a lot of people who are doing a great job just to keep everyone afloat and a little sane."

The image shows Crawford doing what he's been doing best, manning the grill and keeping the community of Little Current well fed.

It was an image that resonated with the officials at Jones Soda who said many, many people have resorted to the comfort of takeout food at one point or another, to get through the pandemic.

"We're thankful for healthcare workers, but … there are a lot of unsung heroes out there, people just doing their stuff, day in and day out that are not healthcare workers," said Maisie Antoniello, vice-president at Jones.

Antoniello said their campaign aims to shine a light on those workers, too. In total, Jones has picked eight heroes who will be highlighted on their bottles.

'That means a lot'

"And that means a lot and I think it's important to see," said Crawford. "There are frontline workers, police officers and everybody out there, that's doing what they can right now, but there's the everyday people in the restaurants and everything else you know - we're all just trying to work."

Crawford said the honour has been a bit hit with his friends and family who are now flocking to store shelves to get a bottle for themselves.

The father of two young children, he's not sure what they'll make of this when they get older.

"I can't imagine what I would think if I saw my father's face on a soda bottle, but I'm sure it'll be something for them to talk about (and) tell their friends," he laughed.

For now, the pandemic has given him something positive he said he'll be able to look back on. And he has plans to get a few bottles himself, for posterity.