They’re re­ally step­ping up to the plate

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - FRONT PAGE - LOIS ANN BAKER lbaker@post­media.com

Corn­wall Res­tau­rant Week is al­most here and on Thurs­day they an­nounced a very spe­cial part­ner­ship. For the first time, the fes­ti­val is team­ing up with the Agape Cen­tre.

“We think it’s some­thing that is pretty great,” said fes­ti­val or­ga­nizer Se­bastien Mani­gat. “We are very ex­cited about this part­ner­ship.”

Mani­gat said the fes­ti­val ar­ranges for lo­cal restau­rants to cre­ate spe­cial menus that peo­ple can go out and en­joy at a rea­son­able rate.

“It’s been wildly suc­cess­ful,” he said. “Last year we served 5,000 res­tau­rant meals in two edi­tions. The num­ber of peo­ple en­gaged in this and the num­ber of restau­rants en­gaged in this has been phe­nom­e­nal. But in this edi­tion, for the first time ever pro­ceeds of each meal will go to the Agape Cen­tre.”

Mani­gat said this was a part­ner­ship not only with the Sea­way Food Fes­ti­val but more im­por­tantly the restau­rants that have stepped up and agreed to par­tic­i­pate in this en­deav­our and make those do­na­tions them­selves.

“We are also go­ing to uti­lize the next five weeks not only to pro­mote the restau­rants and the week as we have in the past, but also to try to find ways to raise aware­ness. We are very lucky to have a very ded­i­cated and en­gaged au­di­ence we have de­vel­oped over the years.”

Mani­gat said he was hop­ing the pa­trons of the past res­tau­rant weeks will step for­ward once again to make this a suc­cess­ful event.

“It’s im­por­tant,” he said. “It’s im­por­tant for the com­mu­nity and it’s im­por­tant for the peo­ple we help as well.”

Mani­gat said they will also be sell­ing tee shirts and ball caps with the #WEARECORNWALL sym­bol on them, again with pro­ceeds go­ing to the Agape Cen­tre.

Mani­gat said an­other new thing this year will be the op­tion of a lunch menu at a few of the smaller eater­ies such as Mar­row & Spice, The Down­town Farm and Sim­ply Jen­nifer.

Mani­gat said they were hop­ing to raise between $3,000 and $4,000 for the Agape Cen­tre.

“But any­thing can hap­pen in th­ese types of sit­u­a­tions,” he said. “Based on the way res­tau­rant week has de­vel­oped in the last few years, it has be­come the most pop­u­lar event the Sea­way Food Fes­ti­val does.”

Chef and owner of Eight Zero Zero Dave Petrynka said it makes for a busy week.

“It’s re­ally built it­self up and has made a big name for it now and I think year af­ter year we seem to gen­er­ate more peo­ple,” he said. “It’s start­ing to be­come more of a group thing where friends come out to­gether. I have seen if we put a menu out with three dif­fer­ent meals, they will come back three days in a row. We see a lot of re­turn cus­tomers.”

Petrynka said it was great to part­ner up with the Agape Cen­tre and felt it was go­ing to work for ev­ery­body.

“Mani is right too. It’s go­ing to plant the Agape name back in their heads,” said co-owner of Mar­row & Spice Mike Mer­rian. “The as­so­ci­a­tion is go­ing to make a big dif­fer­ence.”

“I re­ally feel it will drive even more, know­ing that peo­ple can do­nate, it will drive more busi­ness,” said Petrynka.

“From my per­spec­tive, ob­vi­ously the Agape Cen­tre does not re­ceive any fund­ing from any level of govern­ment. We rely solely on what we make from our thrift store,” said ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Agape Cen­tre Dianne Plourde. “It is about food and we are about food in a dif­fer­ent way, so peo­ple will go out and sup­port lo­cal es­tab­lish­ments and eater­ies know­ing they are also sup­port­ing a char­ity. In my view it’s a win-win.”

Petrynka said it also makes the lo­cal restau­rants feel good to be able to give back to the com­mu­nity.

“It just makes ev­ery­thing come to­gether,” he said.

Corn­wall Res­tau­rant Week is Nov. 7-11.

LOIS ANN BAKER/CORN­WALL STAN­DARD-FREEHOLDER

Agape Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Dianne Plourde with Mar­row and Spice co-owner Mike Mer­rian, Chef and owner of Eight Zero Zero Dave Pa­trynka with Corn­wall Res­tau­rant Week's Se­bastien Mani­gat on Thurs­day. Corn­wall Res­tau­rant Week has teamed up with the Agape Cen­tre. Proc­ceds from the week will be given to the Agape Cen­tre.

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