Even in tough times, Gramma Jo’s Family Restaurant keeps giving back

Dec 17, 2020

When you enjoy a meal at Gramma Jo’s Family Restaurant in Clifford, Ontario, there’s a good chance it was prepared by Gramma herself. The restaurant is run by Jim and Joane Weltz along with their daughter, Jen, and it’s become a much-loved part of the community in Wellington County. Not only do they serve delicious, homemade meals, they are known for giving back to others through annual fundraisers and special events. They’ve developed a loyal customer base, and we’re proud to work with their team!

Adapting in a challenging year

As we all know, 2020 has been a difficult year for all business owners, particularly those in foodservice and other industries affected by indoor dining restrictions. While we understand the need for these restrictions and are committed to doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s definitely been hard on restaurant owners and staff. Gramma Jo’s is no exception, but like many of our clients, they’ve managed to have a positive outlook and adapt in challenging times.

Gramma Jo’s didn’t have a patio before the pandemic, but they were given permission to take over a portion of the sidewalk in front of their restaurant earlier this year. The town actually provided picnic tables to help them out and encourage customers to dine at Gramma Jo’s, and it was a great success. Their customers were more than happy to sit outside and enjoy their favourite homestyle meals!

The Weltzes also pivoted to offering take home meals for the first time. They now serve family size portions of dishes including cabbage roll casserole, chicken alfredo penne, meatloaf, chicken parm casserole, chili, roasts and pot pies, plus homestyle soups, stews, side dishes and more. These ‘to go’ dishes are available to take home and enjoy immediately or freeze for consuming at a later date. They’ve been a huge hit and continue to be in high demand!

Finding new ways to give back

Gramma Jo’s has been hosting an annual ‘Breakfast with Santa’ fundraiser for years. All proceeds from this popular event go to the Make-a-Wish foundation. Unfortunately, this year’s event was cancelled as a result of COVID-19 — a disappointment for the Gramma Jo’s team and customers alike. The Weltz family understands and respects the health and safety protocols behind the decision, but didn’t want to let a year go by without contributing to this incredible organization.

It was quickly decided that Gramma Jo’s would collect money for the Make-a-Wish foundation any way they (safely) could. First, they put out a bucket in the restaurant so customers could offer cash donations. Secondly, they organized several small fundraisers selling pizza kits, delicious fudge, beef jerky and local chicken. Their efforts have been a hit with customers, and donations are quickly adding up! Gramma Jo’s doesn’t profit anything through these efforts — it’s made possible purely from the goodness of their hearts, and the dedication of their community.

Supporting small business in a small town

Gramma Jo’s Family Restaurant has demonstrated their commitment to giving back – even in hard times – and it’s this kindness that helps their family business thrive in a small Ontario town. Their people are as great as their scratch-cooked comfort foods, and customers have taken notice. Well done, Gramma Jo’s — we’re glad to be a part of your extended team.