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The food industry has become synonymous with innovation and creativity. New trends and movements are constantly emerging, and since the pandemic, this process has only been intensified.
During this time, restaurant owners all over Toronto have been inspired to think outside the box, or, in the case of East York's Rise and Dine Eatery, outside the takeout box.
Well known for their epic brunch offerings, this local restaurant has branched out this summer, serving an assortment of creamy frozen sweets and tasty desserts at their new ice cream shop, Scoops Ahoy––not affiliated with the earlier promotional pop-up location for the Stranger Things TV show.
Owners Tom Pedias and Gus Georgopoulos decided to make the expansion during the COVID-19 pandemic, transforming their extra storage space and office area into something else, something different.
"Our restaurant is actually composed of two units. For years, we had no idea what to do with all of the extra space, especially since much of it was left unoccupied. Then, when the pandemic came around, it finally hit us," said Pedias.
And thanks to their many years of experience in the food industry, Pedias and Georgopoulos were able to turn a limitation into an opportunity for growth and development. Despite the several COVID-19 restrictions, they remained determined to adapt to life under lockdown.
"Ever since March 15, 2020, our dining room has only been open for a total of nine weeks," said Pedias. "We partnered with almost every virtual restaurant and delivery technology service, but it still wasn't enough. Something was missing."
And that something was Scoops Ahoy.
Since their soft opening on April 9, the restaurant has received a ton of positive feedback and support from their community.
With unique ice cream and gelato flavours such as Strawberry Shortcake, Monster Cookie and Keto Vanilla, the hype is well deserved too. Customers are raving about Scoops Ahoy, and according to Pedias, believe it to be just what the area needed.
At the moment, they have decided to solely operate their business on weekends from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., but they hope to expand their hours once the weather warms up.
Down the road, Scoops Ahoy will continue to be an integral part of Rise and Dine Eatery's operations.
"I think the two concepts complement each other quite well. When things return to normal, Scoops Ahoy might just be the cherry on top of a nice brunch," Pedias explains.
Located at 2714 St. Clair Avenue East on the side of Rise and Dine Eatery's building, this is one spot you don't want to miss out on this summer.