Partners of the Our Restaurants Campaign are sharing their perspectives and insights on the issues facing the industry. Alexandra Cioppa provided the following story about “Tre Mari Italian Bakery” a Toronto bakery she frequented growing up. 

She writes: “Prior to COVID-19, Tre Mari’s team consisted of 30 – 35 employees (which included bakers, front of house, pastry chefs, and cake decorators). The Tre Mari space featured a small indoor sit down area in addition to a small outdoor patio, a hot food counter, a bakery counter, and a grocery section with an antipasto bar, freshly baked breads, and Italian pantry staples. 

When lockdown orders came down in Ontario, Tre Mari shut their downs. However, all was not lost. Receiving messages from regulars inquiring about delivery pushed them to start taking orders. 

Three days after closing up shop, Tre Mari began to take orders online, using Instagram to highlight their offerings and spread awareness. Through Instagram, the team was able to quickly and easily communicate with consumers and answer any questions. They launched free home delivery in the local area (executed in house by the core team) and within three days, were able to deliver a customer’s order. Tre Mari brought their signature cannolis, Italian buns, and prepared foods directly to consumers’ doors. 

Spending decades building this relationship with the neighbourhood meant that throughout quarantine, Tre Mari found incredible and immense support from the community which helped carry them through this uncertain and precarious time. The foodservice industry has been devastated by COVID-19, and while affected by the pandemic, Tre Mari has been able to grow and evolve – something that many larger operations have been unable to do.

Read the full story here.