This interview is part of a series chatting with local business owners, artists, organizers and people in our community who are learning to adapt during COVID-19.
Andrew Kotsovos – Tomasso’s Italian Grille + Jim’s Pizzeria
Describe your business.
Tomasso’s Italian Grille is an upscale-casual restaurant located on the banks of the famous Trent River in the heart of downtown Trenton. Built across three properties for multi level seating with soaring ceilings, touches of wood and steel and a waterfront patio – the setting is a perfect combination of contemporary urban style and rustic Mediterranean comfort.
Jim’s Pizzeria is how we started in 1970 and what made us famous! We make our dough daily from scratch. We only use the best, freshest ingredients, which we chop and slice in-house. We only use 100% mozzarella cheese. Finally, our sauce is made using California ultra-premium plum tomatoes, which we have chosen for their exquisite flavour profile, which is a perfect complement to our unique blend of spices.
What does working from home/your workplace look like for you right now?
Canada’s food service industry was one of the first sectors impacted by COVID-19 and continues to be one of the hardest hit. The silver-lining, from a personal perspective, is that we get to go back to our business roots, re-focusing on the take-out and delivery divisions of our restaurant.
How have you adapted your operations during the pandemic?
Our family is proud of the level of responsiveness our restaurant has undertaken with the health and safety of our staff and everyone we serve being the primary driver for the changes we have implemented (e.g. contactless delivery).
How have you been supported by the community?
We have been thanked many times for staying open to provide the community with safe and reliable meal options throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers have sent cards, flowers and left messages on our social media; they have also been very generous when tipping our staff. These acts of kindness, along with the patience, trust and loyalty our customers have displayed during these challenging times has kept our team and business going.
What is something good that has come from this difficult situation?
A positive that has come out of this difficult situation is that we are implementing new business practices that have improved our operation in the now and will continue to benefit the restaurant in the future (however that looks).
What advice do you have for other business owners at this time?
Look at this crisis as an opportunity to do things you could not do before.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
We feel proud and fortunate to have our business in Canada. The determined spirit and passion of Canadians will get us through this – together.
Stay tuned as we share more local folks who are Makin’ It Work, and check out our weekly interviews (of the same name) on Instagram Live every Friday.