A restaurant in Cranbrook, B.C., has established a yearly custom of providing a complimentary meal to the community on Thanksgiving.
On Sunday, Doug Wagner, executive chef at the Fire Hall Kitchen & Tap, was again busy preparing food for hundreds of people for the Monday feast, and underscored that anyone and everyone is welcome to join — whether it’s an entire extended family or a person who is away from their family.
Wagner expressed that it is not solely about providing food to those who require it the most, but rather about fostering a feeling of belonging within the community.
From Monday, starting at 2 p.m. and ending at 7 p.m., the meal will consist of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrots, gravy, cranberry sauce, buns, and dessert.
Members of the community and employees of the restaurant generously offer their time to cook and serve the Thanksgiving feast. In past years, this event has attracted a minimum of 300 attendees in the East Kootenay city.
Due to the increasing costs of food caused by a sudden rise in inflation, Wagner expects a higher number of individuals to participate in the event this year. Consequently, he is making arrangements for a minimum of 500 attendees.
According to Wagner, we have all experienced a significant increase in inflation this year. He believes that the cost of a Thanksgiving meal for a family of four can reach up to $300. He also mentioned that it is becoming quite costly to afford such a dinner.
A simple act turned into a yearly custom.
Jesse Roberts, co-owner of Fire Hall, explains that the yearly community dinner started as a modest act in 2018, shortly after the restaurant’s six-month mark.
The restaurant’s staff made the decision to shut down on Thanksgiving and organize a complimentary meal as a gesture of gratitude towards the community for their support.
Roberts mentioned that the community responded positively to the event, and the staff has continued the tradition ever since.
He mentioned that although the expense of hosting the dinner has gone up by approximately 15 percent this year, it is a worthwhile investment to engage and support the community. Additionally, he mentioned that the meal itself is exquisite.
Roberts exclaimed that the food is extraordinary. It is the most exceptional turkey dinner you have ever experienced, and the best part is that it’s complimentary. He invited everyone to join and not miss out on the opportunity.