A Love Letter to Community

Today marks our two year anniversary at 279 Roncesvalles Ave. The thing about starting a business is that it can’t help but be an expression of yourself. The other thing about running a business is that the community that supports you has a monumental impact on your values and how you evolve.

Each time I’ve had a new revelation over the years, it was always initiated by the Goods’ community and I would then adjust the business as a way of reflecting that I heard you, that I see you and that I love you. You have been at my side, teaching me and showing me what you need, opening my mind to the possibility and joy of inclusivity.

An awareness of FOOD and its potential for change has enormous power. When I started the Goods in 2012 I was focused on and committed to sharing this knowledge with everyone, I believed and I still believe food can wake the masses from their slumbers. Food is our medicine or it’s our poison, and eating fresh, organic and nourishing foods deeply affected me and changed my life. Food is the foundation of a clear mind, healthy body and aligned spirit. Healing allows us to thrive as individuals with the potential of radiating that healing light on our families, into our communities and out in the world.

In 2014 we thankfully became abruptly aware that ACCESSIBILITY is essential, as our first location on Dundas was highly inaccessible. Watching one of our delivery partners from Good Foot Delivery, a man I admire and respect very much, have to work way too hard to get up our steps just to get himself and his walker into our restaurant was enough to grant us the clarity needed to understand why we must build a place for everyone. A special thank you to Stop Gap Foundation for our bright green ramp.

Our next big wakeup was the need for solid SUSTAINABILITY practices, as the endless amount of waste created by packing food in single use packaging for takeout was getting out of hand. We realized no package is the best package, so in 2018, with the move to our new accessible location we introduced waste-free dine-in, in 2019 we started offering waste-free catering and supporting the BYO (Bring Your Own) movement for in-store takeout. Special thanks to @billowsophy and MISFITSTUDIO and Province Apothocary for insisting on waste-free catering options for their teams and clients. And a special shoutout to local eco warriors Dream Zero and Wise Bird and Roncy Reduces for providing sustainable alternatives and encouraging community awareness.

As the 2020 pandemic swept through we were scared out of our minds and were sure all was lost, but there were silver linings:

1. The launch of the COMMUNITY Meal program, whereby financial support from our customers allowed us to feed hundreds of at-risk individuals in our community, including Front Line Workers, to Longterm Care Facilities, to Group Homes and Shelters. It gave new meaning to ACCESSIBLE and INCLUSIVE and it felt damn good to do something nice for someone else. Special thanks to the big hearts at @inmyscrubscanada @rbc @virtudes_kitchen

2. Our new Home Delivery Menu allowed us to make our nourishing food more affordable than takeout and more convenient too, it also led to the creation of meal kits that we think are great because you can craft a nourishing meal simply at home. We believe home cooking can be healing and we’re committed to expanding our home delivery services for the longterm.

In working with the public you realize what a richly diverse COMMUNITY we live in and and the beauty and necessity in that DIVERSITY. “How do we make the Goods as INCLUSIVE as possible?” is a question we ask ourselves often. It began with making food that is inclusive for a broad spectrum of dietary requirements, allergies and intolerances while still crafting nourishing meals, supportive of the environment, completely free from animal cruelty and entirely supplied by local and independently operated business; we’re for the community, by the community. We also ask ourselves over and over how we can be as inclusive as possible in our hiring practices. We are beyond grateful for the diversity of humans who have flowed through the Goods: LGBTQ, Black, POC and white folks, cis women and men and new Canadians from around the globe. It is a blessing to have so many beautiful souls leave their mark on the Goods.

We know our community is hurting, and humans are exceptionally raw in 2020. I trust this rawness has made us sensitive enough to realize the suffering of our Canadian Black and Indigenous friends, families and neighbours. A tragedy has gone on for far too long due to a level of violence and oppression that is tolerated under no other circumstances in this country. For those of us who have dismissed the cries of the people, the time has come to wake up and stay awake, commit to reeducation for life, and open ourselves to the stories and experiences of the people. It is of the utmost importance to immerse oursleves in the truth of the reality we all take part in, the system is broken, it is not built for everyone. We saw what was possible when the entire planet came together to battle an invisible virus, one that didn’t threaten the lives of nearly as many people that are threatened, oppressed and murdered because of the racism so deeply ingrained in our country after almost 500 years. We can harness that same collective power we used to roll out a three month global lockdown to end this game of white supremacy! Inclusivity is possible and equity is within reach. Let’s amplify the voices of those who have been silenced for way too long, because there is enough to go around. Let love lead the way.

#BLACKLIVESMATTER #INDIGENOUSLIVESMATTER  

Thank YOU for showing us so much of yourselves and for waking us to the power of: FOOD as medicine, ACCESSIBLE spaces, SUSTAINABLE business practices, DIVERSITY and INCLUSION as essential in life and in business, and proving that we are a COMMUNITY with great potential for continued growth and expansion of consciousness.

We believe in you and we love you,

Lisa and the team at the Goods

CATEGORY: Health & Wellness

lisa4thegoods

Chef and Owner at the Goods. Food is at the root of everything, it has the power to impact our health, wellbeing and spirituality, the economy, environment and overall health of this planet.