Park Grocery Deli & Bar is joining a unique fraternity in Guelph as one of nearly two dozen business that are classified as a Living Wage Employer, and is now only one of the few restaurants in Canada to declare themselves as such.
In a press release, the owners of Park Grocery, the Neighbourhood Group of Companies, touted their move to be certified by Ontario’s Living Wage Network. “We know that to attract the best talent, we have to invest in our team,” said Neighbourhood Group CEO Court Desautels. “We’re providing our employees with an income to help them live more wholesome lives.”
According to the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination, a living wage in our area is $16.90 per hour; the rate was re-calculated late last year. According to the Task Force, “A living wage is the hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their basic expenses and participate in their community,” assuming both parents work full-time jobs, 35 hours a week, with two dependents.
In addition to a Living Wage, Park Grocery said that their business model also includes equal pay for front and kitchen staff, going tip-free, and a rewards program that offers benefits for customers, and benefits for community and environmental initiatives like KidsAbility or the Grand River Conservation Foundation.
Right now, Guelph has 22 Living Wage employers, but aside from Park Grocery, only one of them is a service-based business. The Boardroom, which is presently owned by city councillors Rodrigo Goller and Mark MacKinnon, is also certified a Living Wage employer.
The Neighbourhood Group of Companies also owns the Wooly Pub, Borealis Grille & Bar, and Miijidaa café + bistro.
Park Grocery is inviting the community to come out to their Dog Days of Summer patio party to celebrate their new status, and check out their new menu. The celebration will be taking place at Park’s back parking lot at 294 Woolwich St, on the corner of Woolwich and London Rd, from 10 am to 4 pm n July 6.