Small Business Fund Nominee Stories & Voting

EAT.OA!

London, ON

FB: @OEVEatOA

IG: @eat.oa

*Answers below are taken verbatim from entry.

BUSINESS BACKGROUND

We're a group of hospitality lifers, who have taken decades of restaurant experiences, and channeled them into a creativity filled, technique driven environment we call EatOA!.  We happily serve the patrons of the Anderson Craft Ales taproom,  and the folks of our beloved OEV.  Our parent co. Old East Village Catering, also caters offsite to small and medium sized gatherings.  We're all about fun, passion and elevation.  We take our craft very seriously, way more so than ourselves!  We're constantly pushing ourselves to be better, and we certainly never take the easy road.  We'd really like to cement ourselves as a pillar destination for gastronomy in the East end and contribute positively to London's vibrant food scene.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR STRATEGY THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC?

We closed up shop the moment the province did.  In the beginning the brewery was still operating, and with all of the fear surrounding this pandemic, we felt that the obvious priority was the health of the brewery, for without Gavin and the brewery, we wouldn't exist.  Only recently we dipped our toes in the water with take out.  We weren't sure if the folks would still come, but to our surprise, they did.  Enough so, that we increased our offerings a bit for week 2.  This is where we sit today, and we're going to continue to have to find ways to remain  relevant and operational.  We've transitioned from a la care to take out.

HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC & SHUTDOWN AFFECTED YOUR BUSINESS?

Well, it nearly decimated it.  Thankfully our landlord has given us his full support throughout this.  We're on the smaller side of the scale, so the initial losses weren't horrendous.  We froze what we could and divided up the perishable inventory and shared it between us.  But now, the new normal.  We must reinvent.  We're looking at everything from food retail, more offsite catering, and hopefully installing a walk up window.  The latter will at least allow us to compete with food trucks and the likes.  It's a fairly liquid business plan at the moment and we attack it with different ideas everyday.

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