Kristy Thienes has seen a change in her prospects throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diners are relaxed, they’re engaged and nobody appears to be in a rush to go anyplace.
“Individuals are popping out and really having fun with one another,” mentioned Thienes, co-owner of Harvest Eatery in Shaunavon, Sask.
“Individuals are making some extent to place their telephones away. To not rush by way of a meal.”
Thienes mentioned the noticeable shift adopted the closure and reopening of the restaurant, as a consequence of COVID-19.
The 2018 CBC Future 40 winner and her husband have rolled with the punches all through the previous 9 months.
They needed to flip their vacation spot eating institution, with a workers of 13, right into a small three-person crew. That crew grew to become an meeting line for a food-delivery service that introduced do-it-yourself meals to folks in Shaunavon, Eastend, Climax and Swift Present when the pandemic started.
Kristy Thienes’s husband, Garrett, left, poses with an area honey producer. (Harvest Eatery/Fb)
Thienes’s husband, Harvest Eatery co-owner Garrett Thienes (often known as Chef Rusty, and himself a previous Future 40 winner), personally delivered the “gourmand consolation meals” for every order.
“It was insane,” Kristy Thienes mentioned.
Though the months of morphing their beloved culinary hotspot right into a cell meals supply enterprise have been troublesome, she mentioned the help of native folks helped them get by way of.
“We have been so stuffed with love over how a lot help we acquired from everyone,” she mentioned, laughing as she fought again tears. “It was actually heartwarming.”
Constructing group by way of creativity
The favored adage “you get what you give” appears to use completely to the Thienes’ state of affairs. About seven and a half years in the past, the couple moved again to Garrett’s hometown of Shaunavon, with a dream of flipping the rising farm-to-table development on its head.
They’d carry the desk to the farm.
Thienes mentioned they knew there have been “unbelievable ranchers, farmers, producers and artists” within the space they usually noticed a possibility to associate with these producers to create one thing unique.
Harvest Eatery was featured in Jenn Sharp’s e book Flat Out Scrumptious. The e book has been become a TV sequence (set to air in 2021) and the crew got here to movie an episode on the restaurant in Shaunavon this summer season. (Harvest Eatery/Fb)
In the present day, the house is a bustling hub of group connection and small-business synergy.
The restaurant’s partitions function free gallery house for native artists, and the Thieneses do not ask for fee. They merely wish to make it simpler for different creators to proceed with their craft, as they’ve.
Every thing served is made out of scratch with native elements, and at all times ready with a key ingredient — a mindset of sharing and transparency.
Up till not too long ago, guests may stroll as much as the chef and begin a dialog, due to the restaurant’s open kitchen and bar. Now, as a consequence of well being laws, vintage home windows function fashionable limitations.
A scrumptious snapshot of a meal. Harvest makes use of native elements from Saskatchewan producers to create its menu. The restaurant was awarded Tourism Saskatchewan’s Service Excellence Award in 2019. (Harvest Eatery/Fb)
However the method stays the identical. It originates from Kristy Thienes’s need to hook up with actual folks, by way of inventive content material. To start with, she used a Blackberry to seize pictures of what was cooking, each day, and would share the pictures on Harvest Eatery’s fledgling social media accounts.
“We have been in a position to present what our meals appeared like after which clarify what it tasted like,” she mentioned.
In these early days, Thienes mentioned she’d tag different related corporations in her posts, hoping they’d share her message and unfold the information in regards to the restaurant. In the present day, Harvest’s vibrant social media presence shines a lightweight on each the culinary excellence and the group.
Thienes makes use of juicy snapshots like this to communicate along with her group by way of social media. One of many advantages of operating a enterprise in a small city is that persons are by no means too distant from an award-winning Harvest Burger. (Harvest Eatery/Fb)
“Being in a small city, it is so precious,” mentioned Thienes. “I feel my file is three minutes between posting an image and somebody strolling within the door and saying, ‘I simply noticed your burger. I would like one.'”
Now, issues like that occur on a regular basis. In flip, Thienes is utilizing the ability of Harvest Eatery’s social media to bolster different younger entrepreneurs, tagging producers the restaurant works with frequently — just like the South West Rising Cooperative, run by three teen boys who present the restaurant with honey and greens.
“Social media has been invaluable and it is one factor I’ll inform each enterprise proprietor to reap the benefits of,” she mentioned.
A brilliant, albeit unsure, future
Thienes says due to Harvest’s design, there’s at all times been plenty of room between particular person tables and this has allowed for a neater transition again to eating in.
“We’re busy. We’re actually busy,” she mentioned.
Thienes makes use of Harvest Eatery’s social media platforms to advertise the work of native producers alongside the restaurant’s. (Harvest Eatery/Fb)
The restaurant is as soon as once more up and operating, with all of its workers employed again, and is busier than it was final 12 months at the moment, Thienes mentioned.
“Everyone seems to be so jovial to be out once more,” she mentioned.
As she appears to be like ahead to the long run, Thienes sees extra inventive partnerships in her group, mixing culinary, performing and visible arts as soon as once more.
Thienes makes use of her background in graphic design and advertising to develop curiosity in each her restaurant and the city of Shaunavon. (Christ Attrell Pictures)
For now, the restaurant’s schedule is shortly filling up with reservations for personal Christmas events. It seats about 20 folks, with the couple’s presently closed Blind Boar Speakeasy serving as an additional house for extra intimate gatherings.
On high of that, Thienes is anticipating a baby, with a due date of Nov. 23 — and he or she’s additionally working part-time as communications director for the City of Shaunavon.
When he is not creating new dishes, her husband had been constructing an off-leash canine park for the city. The work has simply completed in time for winter walks.
Whereas Thienes mentioned she will not be certain what the long run holds in terms of well being restrictions because of the pandemic and time restrictions as a consequence of a brand new child, she is definite that she and her husband will proceed to serve the group of Shaunavon.
Garrett Thienes is a 2015 CBC Future 40 winner. He nominated Kristy for the award in 2018, and he or she was chosen as one of many 40 winners. If you realize somebody wonderful who deserves recognition for his or her work, nominate them right now. (Submitted by Kristy Thienes)
In some ways, the restaurant’s namesake has come to embody the life Thienes and her husband have constructed on the prairies.
“Harvest is everybody coming collectively and celebrating in any case that onerous work,” she mentioned. “That feeling of group, accomplishment, leisure and delight.”
Are you aware a hard-working entrepreneur who’s making their group a greater place? Nominate them to be a finalist in CBC’s Future 40 — celebrating the province’s leaders, builders and change-makers beneath the age of 40.
Nominations shut on Sunday, Nov. 22.
Kristy and Garrett Thienes personal Harvest Eatery in Shaunavon. (Submitted by Kristy Thienes)