PKED caught up with The Old Bridge Inn in Young’s Point, Ontario to talk about how they are using the Tourism Resiliency Fund to help their business through recovery from the COVID-19 global pandemic.
1. Where did the idea/concept for your business come from?
I first became aware of The Old Bridge Inn while I attended high school in Lakefield. The Inn was an important historical spot in Young’s Point, being built in 1872 as the original general store for the area. Later in the 50’s it became a restaurant, popular with locals and visitors alike, hosting many important social gatherings.
2. What has it been like navigating the pandemic with your business?
Like most businesses, it has been very difficult navigating throughout the pandemic. I have personally been in the restaurant business for 35 years owning and operating several restaurants in the Peterborough and Toronto area, and have never encountered challenges close to this.
3. What will you be using the TRF funding towards?
Because the pandemic has created an environment that is so unpredictable, we have had to pivot and explore new options and ways to create an income. We will use the TRF to expand our outdoor dining and increase our ability to do take-away meals. We are also using funds to increase our social media presence and content with our customers.
4. What are your hopes for the business in the next few years?
My hope honestly over the next year is that I can keep my business afloat, and not have to close.
5. What is it like owning a business in Peterborough & the Kawarthas?
I have always enjoyed working in the Kawarthas. I love the beauty of the area and the kindness of the people. Because I have had other restaurants in the area, many of my customers are loyal, lovely, and super supportive and I have been lucky enough to create a loyal customer base who continue to try to support us even through these uncertain times. Also, I have come to personally know a lot of other restauranteurs in the community who are also supportive.
6. What is your favourite thing about living and working in Peterborough & the Kawarthas?
I really love the beauty of nature here in the Kawarthas, so many great trails, lakes and outdoor activities, not to mention wild life and the history that the area offers.
PKED is profiling several tourism-dependent businesses that were successful in receiving Tourism Resiliency Funding to support costs associated with adapting to public health measures and safety reopening, which will support the tourism industry’s recovery in Peterborough & the Kawarthas.