Creekbread serves up comfort food for the soul
May 10, 2016
By: Michelle Ratcliffe
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Creekbread is a unique restaurant that is part of an extended family of flatbread eateries started by entrepreneur, Jay Gould. His idea sparked from the basic desire for a better dining option for his family and from that he founded a business based on a philosophy that is honest, organic and community focused.
The appetite for an authentic dining experience has proven hearty and Creekbread has become a thriving business with a culture where food is sacred and its preparation is an expression of love. Gould has the help of co-owners Josh and Amy Stone, who he credits with really bringing his food philosophy to life, and managing partner Tammy Peavoy, who has truly connected their philosophy to the local community. Together, the team has crafted a restaurant where people can renew their spirit.
“It’s a place to have a meal with friends and family where everyone’s talking and sharing food together. You see the fire, it feels good and you create a fun environment that’s natural, and you’re really taken care of by the staff,” said Gould.
A labour of love
A core value at Creekbread is the belief that work should be emotionally rewarding, so they put great effort into creating a healthy work environment and a happy team.
“Finding meaningful work is a key to being healthy,” said Gould. “They can be proud of their product and what we do. It’s soulful for a person to love their work.”
Peavoy said that having this healthy philosophy that comes right from the top creates a workplace where everyone is valued as an individual successful as a team.
“The team all has pride in their work and put a lot of love into everything they do — a close knit little family, but I really think the key is working as a team and really being respectful of one another, no matter what position we hold,” she said.
With a commitment to authenticity, advancement is based on performance, never politics. Peavoy is grateful to have long-term staff who have grown with the company.
“Our kitchen leaders both started as dishwashers and are now running the kitchen. We have bartenders that have moved up to management as well and have made a huge impact on the restaurant,” she said, describing how Creekbread’s values see that everyone is given an opportunity, as long as they bring the right attitude.
Ingredients with integrity
Creekbread aims to create a restaurant that reconnects guests to nature. Their menu features quality ingredients from local farmers who share Creekbread’s commitment to sustainable practices. Farms they work with are proudly posted on the wall, reminding everyone to make that connection to the source.
An open kitchen allows anyone to see meals in the making before they enjoy dishes made with organic produce, free-range chicken and nitrate-free meats.
The closer the source of the ingredients the better, with some greens even grown in the garden out back. All of their key ingredients are made in house and cooked in the hand-built, wood-burning, clay oven. One bite of their dough or taste of their tomato sauce and you’ll understand why.
“We work with really good food and that is rewarding and spiritual,” said Gould, who refers to himself as a bit of a hippy with both a business and environmental science degree. “We’re serving thousands of organic meals a day — it’s good for the air, water, soil and people.”
The community connection
Peavoy has made giving back to the community a key part of Creekbread’s culture by implementing a weekly benefit night where a portion of the evening’s sales are donated back to a local charity, team or club.
“The benefit nights are fantastic. It brings such a great vibe into the restaurant on Tuesday nights. No matter what the benefit is for, it is the community coming together and supporting each other,” she said, adding, “I’m blown away week after week by the support from everyone for these benefit nights.”
The festive evenings are often animated with live music, raffles and friendly competition over silent auction bids. The nights not only raise money, but also raise awareness for local causes.
Whether it’s for their team, their customers, or their community, this popular pizza place has certainly created a culture based on renewing one’s spirit and any way you slice it, that’s a beautiful thing.
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