Toronto catering company finds a temporary home after being forced to close due to pandemic
Marie Fitrion had been running her flexitarian catering business Urban Acorn with her husband and executive chef Daniel Holloway for two-and-a-half years in her dream space on Jane Street.
"It was the space," she told blogTO. "It was our home. We put alot of blood, sweat and tears into it."
But then the pandemic happened.
"We predominantly do private events and weddings," explained Fitrion. "When the pandemic hit it was our dead season and then all our events got postponed or cancelled."
They also had a private event space where they held monthly vegan dinner parties but that had to be moved online when the government placed limits on indoor gatherings.
While their landlord was very patient with Fitrion and Holloway, as the months wore on they realized keeping the space wasn't possible.
"Even if we took out a loan we were just going to be putting ourselves in debt," said Fitrion.
So they left, saying goodbye to their cozy space and commercial kitchen. The problem was they still needed to be operational as they had contracts to fulfill.
"My partner contacted Tempered Room and asked them if they needed a hand and started working part-time and we started talking," recounted Fitrion.
Tempered Room, a catering company and patisserie located in Parkdale, is also run by a husband and wife duo.
"They offered to take us in and we will be operating there for the foreseeable future so we can stay alive as a business."
Tempered Room's altruistic offering was exactly what Urban Acorn needed.
"[They're] our knight in shining armour. It allowed us to finally exhale and do the sigh of relief. It's been such a rollercoaster of a year and it finally allowed us to continue to build our business," said Fitrion.
As they head into the new year Fitrion and Holloway have plans to continue their virtual supper club as well as offer online cooking classes. They're also waiting to see how the upcoming wedding season shakes out but don't know when large weddings will even be allowed again.
While Fitrion has hopes she might one day go back to her dream space, she's content where she is.
"It would be lovely at some point to go back but right now that's not realistic," she said.
As for whether this new space will allow for some tasty co-creations, she hinted: "There might be an opportunity for us to collaborate with Tempered Room."
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