The Northwest Wine & Food Society, formerly known as the Wine & Food Society of Clark County, recently launched the Restaurant Reboot Program in order to offer support to small local restaurants that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Vancouver Business Journal is a sponsor of the Restaurant Reboot Program.
Restaurants with big community impact in the Portland/Vancouver Metro area will be selected to receive $2,000 grants. Restaurants chosen will be determined by a community vote.
“The purpose of this program is to provide money for deserving small business restaurant operators, not a big chain,” said Russell Brent, NW Wine & Food Society board member and owner of Mill Creek Pub in Battle Ground. “The goal of this is to give hope and show love for restaurant operators; to elevate the brand awareness of the NW Wine & Food Society and the Vancouver Business Journal; and, with other potential partners, keeping economic engines running.”
The Restaurant Reboot Program began as a grant of $10,000 and was to be distributed into five $2,000 allotments. The NW Wine & Food Society has since raised an additional $5,000 toward additional grants. Tax deductible donations to the Restaurant Reboot Program can be made at the NW Wine & Food Society.
Since starting the Restaurant Reboot Program, two restaurants have already been awarded $2,000 grants. The first grant was awarded to Bonnie Brasure of Bleu Door Bakery in Vancouver on July 15. It was given for the support of reopening and ongoing expenses. Brasure said it was a “wonderful surprise to get the grant.”
“I was overwhelmed and honored to be the first recipient,” Brasure said. “I actually haven’t figured out what to do (with it) yet, because there is a lot to be done. We are trying to find ways to increase sales to keep things running, every penny helps, so possibly just the day-to-day operations or a possible delivery close-in option. Since each day is a new adventure, this will help us keep things going.”
Brasure established Bleu Door Bakery in 2011. Since then Bleu Door Bakery has won multiple awards, including Vancouver Business Journal’s Best in Business Award for five consecutive years and is a three-time winner of The Columbian’s Best of Clark County. Bleu Door Bakery offers artisan sandwiches served on fresh house-baked bread as well as diverse breakfast options. Currently Bleu Door Bakery is serving through their Express Window Tuesday through Saturday.
The second Restaurant Reboot grant was presented to Kelsey Glasser, owner of Arden Restaurant in Portland. Arden was founded in spring 2018 by sommelier Glasser. She offers seasonal cuisine featuring local ingredients and quality wines from around the globe. Named after Shakespeare’s Forest of Arden, Glasser’s restaurant offers “an opportunity to escape, indulge and restore.” Arden currently offers outdoor dining as well as virtual wine tastings via Instagram and Facebook Live.
Anyone who wants to nominate a local deserving restaurant for one of the Restaurant Reboot grants can do so by visiting https://www.vbjusa.com/restaurant-reboot/ and filling out the nomination form. The form will ask for a comment explaining why your nomination deserves a grant. In the second round, people will have the opportunity to vote for the nominees to determine which restaurants receive grants.
Tax deductible donations to the Restaurant Reboot Program can be made at NW Wine & Food Society. Make a donation here.
Since 2015, NW Wine & Food Society has provided more than $100,000 in support for local restaurants and for education opportunities across programs in the culinary arts, hospitality, viticulture and the fermentation sciences.