Niagara-on-the-Lake's Sunset Grill is giving back by doing what it does best – cooking up hearty breakfasts for volunteers and people from the community.
The restaurant has served up about 75 free breakfasts to NOTL firefighters, mask ambassadors, the Queen Street merchant group and even a few dedicated journalists over the last month.
People had their choice of any breakfast item on the menu.
Brad Disher, fire prevention and public education officer for NOTL Fire and Emergency Services, said the gesture was welcome.
“It's nice to be appreciated obviously by a local business,” he said. “It's not not why any of us do what we do, but it's always nice to be appreciated.”
Matt van der Zalm, an administrative assistant in the fire department, echoed the sentiment. He had the Eggs Sunset (the restaurant's version of eggs benedict).
“It is nice to see local businesses supporting our volunteer firefighters who are coming out at all hours of the day and night to come do things for the community.”
Cheryl Morris, communications chair for the Shaw Guild, had a breakfast on Friday. She said the gesture came “out of the blue” for all mask ambassadors. While she said many haven't actually taken advantage of the offer, she thought it was “really generous.”
Kim Gauld, who owns the restaurant with her husband Scott, said the meals are just a nice way to show appreciation for the work people do in the community.
“Just this last year we realized how important friends, family, community were. We've always realized, but we recognize it even more in these times,” she said.
“We really appreciate all the efforts in this town. We love being part of this community.”
As well, she said, it was nice to brighten a few people's days.
“And then we got lots of positive feedback, which brightens our day and it's just like that full circle. And then the other side to it, too, is that we were trying to bring back our staff and get them trained and we want to keep them employed. We want to keep them happy,” she said.
“They need to get back and they need their spirits lifted up, too.”