While 2020 has been a difficult year for some businesses, others have been thriving, and Sandi’s Poutinerie in Meadow Lake is one of the lucky ones.
The small restaurant had always served its meals in take-out containers, whether you were eating in or not, so when the pandemic hit, they simply took away their dine-in seating.
“Other restaurants, they were struggling,” owner Sandi Morin said. “When you’re a full sit down restaurant, you don’t have all the disposable stuff. Then when the pandemic hit, everyone was looking for that stuff so it was hard to get.”
While she didn’t need to take out a loan during the pandemic, Clarence Campeau Development Fund (CCDF) helped her get her business up and running. CCDF supports Saskatchewan’s Métis by providing funding and capacity for business and community development for both new and existing Métis businesses.
Morin’s business had been open for just over three years when the lockdowns started. Many people in Meadow Lake and area had supported her since she opened but there was even more support for local businesses in light of the pandemic.
“People started frequenting the business who had never been here before,” Morin said.
She also responded quickly when she saw demand for items like flour, yeast, rice and beans. She continued to purchase those items in bulk from her supplier and then sold them to the community.
“We weren’t marking anything up dramatically; we were providing a service to the community,” she said. “It was a good opportunity to show the community we were here to help.”
They had people coming from as far away as Saskatoon and Lloydminster to purchase supplies.
“We couldn’t even keep them in stock,” she said. “People were driving up and we were wheeling it over to their vehicle.”
Using the extra space from taking away the dining area, she also purchased an upright freezer and cooler to stock more grocery supplies and meat.
She is currently looking at diversifying her business more and CCDF is on her radar if she needs help with her new ventures.
About the Clarence Campeau Development Fund
The objective of the Fund is to stimulate economic development activities of Métis people and communities. As the first stop for Métis entrepreneurs and communities in Saskatchewan, we leverage relationships with funding partners, industry, and communities to meet the evolving needs of Métis businesses.