Seeding Our Food Future program helps Elora bistro reduce waste with new equipment and collaborate with local businesses to create innovative offerings
Sam LeMoine has been in the hospitality industry since he was a young teen when his family moved into a bed-and-breakfast. This experience led him to work in many different types of hospitality businesses, including a bed-and-breakfast that he ran himself. When Sam moved to Ontario from Cape Breton he worked in restaurants and as a bartender, but he hoped to one day create a place of his own. The opportunity arose with Handsome Devil Bistro. With business partners Cathy Brousseau and Roy Brousseau, Sam owns and operates this casual, upbeat restaurant in Elora. At Handsome Devil Bistro, their philosophy is “good food, good times, good people.” They are passionate about serving exceptional food with quality, local ingredients.
Looking for ways to connect with like-minded businesses and increase sustainability, Handsome Devil Bistro applied to the Seeding Our Food Future (SOFF) program. With the support of SOFF, they have been focused on becoming a more circular business by using more efficient equipment and by collaborating with local brewers. Replacing their ill-functioning, inefficient, and costly keg fridges and appliances is allowing them to reduce beverage waste and save energy. They are now able to offer beer in reusable growlers to reduce packaging waste. These new appliances give Handsome Devil Bistro the capacity to collaborate with local breweries, like Fixed Gear Brewing Co., helping them to increase the reach of their products. Not only is Handsome Devil Bistro introducing new beers to their customers, but they are also working to create new products – like beer-infused foods. They plan to continue demonstrating their creativity through collaborations with local producers, with the hope of using excess produce to offer innovative meals.
At Handsome Devil Bistro, circularity is about collaboration and reciprocity. Sam believes that it comes down to sustainability and finding the most efficient solutions wherever possible. Handsome Devil Bistro supports brewers and growers in Guelph-Wellington, continuously experimenting with fresh, local ingredients to incorporate into their menu. In turn, these businesses promote and support Handsome Devil Bistro as well. They work with others to find new uses for anything that is going unused or would otherwise be disposed of. Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, Handsome Devil Bistro would host an event called Beer Tales to showcase local breweries and bring their products to new audiences. They are looking forward to hosting similar events in the future to continue engaging with and building their community.