Huckleberry keeps up community work
Huckleberry Restaurant has made a donation of over $30,000 in meals for the month of May in support of their community feeding initiatives.
Rob Bruni Restaurant GM said, “Our owners made an early decision to support community feeding initiatives by responding to the call for support for the Matilda Smith nursing home. That initiative was funded by The Bermuda Emergency Fund for the costs of food combined with the donation of staff hours and kitchen facilities from Huckleberry.”
Responding to ongoing concerns from the Third Sector leadership regarding the need for longer-term support, we are proud to announce that our owners further agreed to donate over $30,000 in meals entirely at their cost for the month of May.
Mr. Bruni continued, “We have been producing over 1,200 meals a week and delivering them to a number of locations throughout the island as directed by the Third Sector Coordinated Crisis Response Effort; our chefs and service team have been incredible in supporting these initiatives by working in isolation and under lockdown conditions; some doing so without pay.”
Huckleberry Restaurant was able to keep 6 employees working throughout the mandatory COVID-19 closure by focusing on staff and operational development coupled with support for community feeding initiatives. Having launched their new online shop at HuckleberrryBDA.com they have now been able to successfully transition 10 staff members off of Government unemployment benefits. In order to accomplish this, Staff accepted reduced hours and/or a reduction in pay in support of trying to get everyone back to work and to support the long term viability of the business.
Rob Bruni further commented, “Our owners' leadership and generosity towards our staff and Bermuda's vulnerable population combined with the absolute dedication and sense of shared sacrifice by our team is unlike anything I have experienced before. Our staff have played a critical part in all of this with the way they have responded; I am really thankful for their ongoing support. It has not been without its challenges and we are not operationally profitable yet, but the team spirit of working towards the greater good in a safe environment has galvanized our team spirit.”
In response to the recently announced transition for the island moving to Phase 2 of reopening, Huckleberry has announced that they will not be opening for on-premise dining service at this time.
“While we know that our guests are anxious for us to get back to normal, we also need to accept that our spaces are small and that maintaining proper social distancing at any sort of scale that makes operational sense is not possible. For now, we will continue with our online store with curbside pickup; delivery of our a la carte menu is also available through Sargasso. For the time being, we will limit our operations in the interest of operational certainty and out of an abundance of caution with regard to safeguarding the health of our team.”
We thank all of our patrons for your support and continue to encourage everyone to follow the advice of the Bermuda Government. Please continue to practice social distancing and adhere to the guidelines and measures put in place to protect all of us and particularly the most vulnerable in our community. We will do our part in supporting our Government's leadership by continuing to support our staff, our community feeding initiatives, and by helping to make dining at home both enjoyable and delicious!
• Press release from Huckleberry Restaurant