Langford eateries see silver lining amidst COVID-19

Changes in service bring changes in perspectives on current situation

  • Apr. 23, 2020 5:00 p.m.
Josh Miller, left photo, stands outside his local brunch restaurant Mo:Lé on Millstream Road. In response to COVID-19, the restaurant shifted from providing a menu to customers, to offering grocery and meal-plan delivery and pick-up. Right photo shows some of the food items included in the grocery boxes. (Photos contributed by Josh Miller)

Josh Miller, left photo, stands outside his local brunch restaurant Mo:Lé on Millstream Road. In response to COVID-19, the restaurant shifted from providing a menu to customers, to offering grocery and meal-plan delivery and pick-up. Right photo shows some of the food items included in the grocery boxes. (Photos contributed by Josh Miller)

West Shore restaurants and cafés have been put under pressure amid the spread of COVID-19, but they are not going down without a fight.

In order to meet the measures set in place by health officials and the District of Langford, eateries have had to make a variety of changes to the way they operate.

Mo:Lé, a local brunch restaurant on Millstream Road, shifted from providing a menu to customers, to offering grocery and meal-plan delivery and pick-up. Owner Josh Miller said this was necessary to keep operating because during these times, people aren’t necessarily looking to order breakfast take-out.

“Eggs don’t travel well,” said Miller. “So we had to look at how we can do things a little differently. So now it’s essential food and liquor grocery boxes, as well as some pre-made meals.”

For the first few weeks of March, the restaurant was shut down completely and Miller was forced to lay off all of his staff. But after assessing how things were going for other restaurants, he decided to reopen; this time using the new grocery delivery style of service, and was able to hire back three employees.

“For us it’s going really well. It’s been amazing to see the out pour of love and support from the community,” said Miller. “I think people are really excited about what we are doing, and the response has been great.”

People can now put in a grocery order online at www.molelovesyou.ca or by calling the restaurant.

“It is nice to pivot in a way where I can still employ people, and help the community in a way where I’m not putting them at risk. We are getting a lot of positive reinforcement so I definitely want to continue doing this as long as the demand is there,” said Miller.

ALSO READ: Langford mandates all businesses take new steps to prevent spread of COVID-19

Vaso Lyroni, owner of Dad’s Homemade Soups and Sangys, said things have been challenging considering she and her husband just bought the restaurant on March 1, but they are hoping for the best.

“It’s been quiet. I want to get to know everyone in the neighbourhood but it is difficult in this situation,” said Lyroni.

Lyroni had to lay off all of her staff, switch to a take-out service, decrease hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, and is installing plexiglass around the till and the kitchen.

“I wash my hands constantly, and wipe everything down really well. I never want my customers to have concerns about sanitization,” said Lyroni. “I just miss my customers and my staff, I am looking forward to when things get back to normal. But people have been doing their best to come in and support us.”

ALSO READ: Market on Millstream helps military families with free grocery delivery

Paul Lamoureux, owner at Serious Coffee Millstream, has also had to make some large shifts in order to remain open.

Lamoureux said he removed all outdoor and indoor seating, closed the bathrooms and removed cream and sugar stations, added the “tap” feature to the debit machine, was forced to let go of all but three staff members, and is installing a plexiglass shield in front of the till. He added that the café has increased its social media presence to let people know they are still open, and is continuously brainstorming new ideas for how to move forward as a business.

Despite all the rapid changes and uncertainty of what lies ahead, from Lamoureux’s perspective, there is hope and opportunity to come from this.

“There is always a silver lining and an opportunity to grow when your back is against the corner. It forces you to go ‘OK this is a brand new challenge and I need to look at things in a different way than I have in the past,’” said Lamoureux, noting that customers have been extremely supportive and generous.

“It’s giving us new ideas for the future. Entrepreneurs must have the mindset that we need to pivot, make changes and not fight it. The dust has settled from a few weeks ago, and this is the new norm. I have to keep the mindset that I will never quit, I’m not going to fail, and there is always, always, a way.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Mo:Lé, a local brunch restaurant on Millstream Road, shifted from providing a menu to customers, to offering grocery and meal-plan delivery and pick-up. Photo shows some of the items found in a grocery box. (Photo contributed by Josh Miller)

Mo:Lé, a local brunch restaurant on Millstream Road, shifted from providing a menu to customers, to offering grocery and meal-plan delivery and pick-up. Photo shows some of the items found in a grocery box. (Photo contributed by Josh Miller)

Just Posted

The realignment of Highway 14 between Connie and Glinz Lake roads in Sooke will take more than a year to complete. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
The realignment of Highway 14 between Connie and Glinz Lake roads in Sooke will take more than a year to complete. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Patience requested from drivers as work begins on realignment of Highway 14 in Sooke

Construction between Connie and Glinz Lake roads expected to take 1½ years

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Country Market is upset that their third and final Winter Market won’t happen this Saturday in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park following moves by the municipality. (Facebook/Peninsula Country Market)
Central Saanich postpones weekend Winter Market, organizers upset

Lorea Tomsin said municipality’s move runs counter to provincial direction

As cyclists and pedestrians pass by at Humboldt and Government streets, a garden of blooming black-eyed Susans brightens up the northwest corner of the Fairmont Empress Hotel property on a partially sunny November afternoon. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Keep your umbrella handy for the next while around Greater Victoria

November has lived up to its reputation as one of the rainiest months of the year

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming moves to the role of transportation minister in the NDP’s new cabinet. (B.C. government file photo)
Greater Victoria MLAs claim key roles in new cabinet

Transportation, Indigenous relations, children and family development ministries headed by locals

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Most Read