For “foodie” Kelly Harris, Burlington’s diverse culinary culture is unparalleled.
As the marketing specialist for Tourism Burlington, Kelly has helped elevate Taste of Burlington from a bi-annual pre-fixe event to a year-round promotional platform that spotlights the city’s newest restaurants, food events, cooking classes and restaurant specials.
Her favourite part of the job? The people, of course.
“I love getting to meet all the different restaurant owners and chefs, trying different food and supporting the restaurants,” she tells us. “Whether it’s Mexican, or Peruvian, or Greek…there’s a great variety and something for everyone.”
In order to continue supporting Burlington’s independently-owned restaurants throughout the pandemic, Kelly implemented a take-out program with fifty-nine participating restaurants and eateries. She can attest first-hand to the impact the program has had on her own family.
“We’ve tried to order take out once or twice a week.” she says. “We’ve made those nights into special family nights.”
Some of Kelly’s take-out go-to’s?
The always nutritious Familia Fine Foods. The local Burlington hotspot offers lunch and frozen options with a “home-cooked” feel.
“They’re a great Columbian couple, a family-owned business and I’ve gotten to know them really well,” she explained. “The past year we depended a lot on their frozen meals. One of my kids is hooked on meatballs, so their Meatballs in Rustic Tomato Sauce are one of our favourite things to order.”
To top off a delicious steak dinner, Kelly is choosing CAKEbar Half Dozen Cookie Pops to satisfy her resident sweet-tooth’s.
“It’s been a tough year and one thing that’s gotten us through is food. I have two kids in high school, so food has been a sort of reward or pick-me-up,” she says. “I’m always looking for new treats to surprise them with.”
Kelly’s daily treat is a little more predictable. She elevates her work-from-home routine with a mid-day snack — a cup of tea and a Kiki’s Cookies Chocolate Chip Cookie. Life’s about “enjoying the simple things”, she tells us, and it’s easier now more than ever.
Local restaurants and eateries have pivoted to accommodate any comfort level with options such as online ordering, curb-side pickup and delivery. There is every opportunity to support our local restaurants and eateries whose impact far exceeds feeding our communities.
“They’re the backbones of our community, who sponsor our children’s teams, who donate prizes to events and who advertise in our magazines,” Kelly reminds us. “We need to support them in order for them to remain open.”
As we transition out of the pandemic, Kelly inspires us to keep the momentum moving forward and continue championing the small businesses that make up the fabric of our communities.