Customer Story – Kindness and generosity at Ozweld’s Diner

Mar 25, 2021

Sarnia is a small, close-knit community outside of London, Ontario that has a charming downtown area, a busy college campus and some beautiful waterfront along the St. Clair River complete with a small public beach. Just outside of this downtown core is Ozweld’s Diner: the place to be for homestyle meals that celebrate delicious local ingredients. Think pub food meets comfort food meets your mom’s best cooking. It’s good stuff!

Ozweld’s is owned and operated by Art and Karen Shura. On top of being a popular destination for breakfast and lunch, Ozweld’s recently introduced several new lines of business. The Ozweld’s Diner Company now operates three takeout channels: Mac and Cheezes, Sliderz and East Coast Donair’z (available directly from the diner or locally on Skip The Dishes). These new, takeout-only options were introduced as a way to generate revenue during the pandemic, and have been a great addition to the local food scene.

Getting involved and giving back

The Sarnia community loves Ozweld’s, and so do the many bikers who pass through the area. And the feeling is mutual! The diner has happily supported annual motorcycle events like The Rock Ride for Childhood Cancer, as well as the Ride for Autism, Ride of Respect and a weekly event called ‘2 Wheeled Tuesday’ where motorcyclists support small businesses throughout the Lambton and Kent County areas. Ozweld’s has also supported the Sarnia Special Olympics by hosting an annual ‘Show and Ride’ motorcycle event with well over 100 participants. When this fundraiser was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, Ozweld’s pivoted to hosting a charitable ride that raised $3000.00 — enough to pay the full cost of the Fall Virtual Program for Sarnia Special Olympic athletes. That’s pretty incredible!

Ozweld’s always seems to be helping someone, which makes us proud to work with them. And, they often inspire us to join in! Morton has supported many of these charitable events by donating food products.

Supporting a family through unimaginable loss

Last year, the Ozweld’s team became aware of a family in Sarnia that was dealing with two tragedies at once. Shortly after losing her daughter to childhood cancer, Krista — a single mother with three surviving children — was diagnosed with the disease herself. Her condition was terminal, and treatment would only be able to prolong her life. The news was devastating to Krista and her family, and the community was quick to rally around them. Leading these efforts was Dr. Cassandra Taylor, a close friend of Krista who connected with a local charitable foundation to help organize a fundraiser.

When the foundation stepped in to help, Ozweld’s was more than happy to support the initiative. They auctioned off gift cards and then took things a step further by filling the family’s fridge and freezer with products ordered from Morton Food Service. Our team wanted to contribute as well, so we donated five $100 gift cards to be auctioned off through Ozweld’s. Our Business Development Manager, Tyler, also rallied two other local restaurants to participate in the initiative, raising an additional $1100.00 for Krista and her sons.

What was great about this fundraiser is that in addition to helping a family in need, it supported local business and kept the economic wheels turning close to home. If you, like us, are moved by this story, there are ways to help. While the GoFundMe that was organized for Krista is no longer active, you can still contribute to the family via Dr. Taylor. She can be reached at helpingkrista@gmail.com. All funds raised will directly support Krista’s children by covering the cost of their living expenses, education and more for years to come.

A local business that cares

Art, Karen and the Ozweld’s team believe in giving back simply because it’s the right thing to do. There’s a lot of humility there, and their leadership truly stems from action. At the end of the day, their team wants to be able to answer two questions with pride: who did we impact today, and how will I be remembered by the people I work with?

The folks at Ozweld’s don’t do this philanthropic work for attention or glory and expect nothing in return — they simply want to help. As Art states put it, “They need the help and we can do it, so why not?”

Whether you are your customer, a member of Ozweld’s team, a Sarnia resident, part of the motorcycle community or someone in need, it’s hard not to be inspired by the continuous and selfless contributions of this generous group. It’s good, honest community service, and Morton Food Service is pleased to be a part of their extended team. Keep doing what you’re doing, Ozweld’s — you make Sarnia an even better place to live, work and play.