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Timmins restaurant wins provincial 'sustainability' award

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TIMMINS -

With the pandemic adding even more pressure to restauranteurs, Radical Gardens in Timmins has been recognized for its outstanding efforts in operating sustainably.

That's one of the skills the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario wanted to recognize in its "2021 Ontario Tourism Resiliency Awards."

"Everything that they're doing, not just in their food preparation and the wonderful food that they produce, but just the way in which that they were ... embracing all parts of the community and trying to be an inclusive business," said the association's president, Christopher Bloore.

The restaurant's owner, Brianna Humphrey said since this crisis began, she had been brainstorming ways to pivot her business and roll with the pandemic punches.

That included selling groceries and bulk items while indoor dining was shut down, making her own sour dough bread while yeast was in short supply and finding unique ways to adapt her whole menu to take-out only.

Humphrey said she would also give unused food to those in need, rather than letting it go to waste.

"Every week it was something different and something new," Humphrey said, "(including) how to adapt and change with the increased price of everything."

Having a changing menu made it easier to adapt to supply chain shortages or rising costs for certain items, she said.

One of the most important parts of her operations, Humphrey added, is making sure that her skilled staff are paid a living wage with benefits and paid time off.

Bloore noted that many businesses around the province have been displaying great ways of finding ways to keep afloat, though he said Radical Gardens stood out in particular as an example that others could draw inspiration from.

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