Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oxford County is encouraging people to support local restaurants and by purchasing a BBBS Rally for Restaurants coupon booklet.
The second annual ‘rally’ includes bakeries, coffee shops and eateries across Oxford County, including Copper Mug and Indigo Lounge in Tillsonburg and Ritchie’s Ice Cream and BBQ in Norwich.
“It’s doing really well,” said Kristen Ralph, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oxford County.
The 2021 coupon booklet has been available since July 1st. Some of the coupons will expire Sept. 30, others will be good until Dec. 31.
“We started earlier this year than we did last year so that people could start using it in the summer. We thought that would be a good opportunity for people to try different restaurants in different communities.”
Rally for Restaurants booklets can be purchased online at the BBBS website and picked up at the Woodstock or Ingersoll BBBS offices.
“There’s a really great array of coupons, and different lengths they are active for, which is fantastic,” said Ralph.
If you would rather purchase your booklet in person, call or email Liz Wismer-Van Meer at 519-537-6404 ext. 223 or email email@example.com.
Booklets are $20 each and offer a coupon value of more than $200. There are 29 eateries participating this year, including six in Ingersoll (Chuck’s Roadhouse, Hanak Foods, Louie’s Pizza and Pasta, Mango Salad, Miss Ingersoll, and The Olde Bakery Café, and 17 locations in Woodstock – Bartley’s Dairy Bar, Beantown Coffee Co., Big D’s Sandwich Shack, Boston Pizza, Brickhouse, Charles Dickens Pub, Chuckwagon Restaurant, Early Bird Coffee, East Side Mario’s, Finkle St. Tap & Grill, Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, Habitual Chocolate, Mel’s Fish & Chips, Montana’s BBQ & Bar, The Royal Turban, Todd’s Dogs, and Two Guys and a Whisk.
“We are going to continue this event so if any restaurants that haven’t been part of it, want to be part of it next year, we would gladly accept them.”
The 2020 Rally for Restaurants was introduced as a replacement for the almost decade-long Battle of the Hors D’oeuvres and Bid for Kids Sake held annually in Tillsonburg until 2019, when J.P.’s Barbecue and Catering won the 2019 Critics’ Choice award. Second place went to Chrissy’s Catering in Tillsonburg while East Meets West Catering from Woodstock took third place. Indigo Lounge in Tillsonburg won the 2019 top award for People’s Choice. J.P’s Barbecue and Catering tied with J.P.’s at Otter Creek for second in the People’s Choice Award. Third place was awarded to Quinton’s Catering from Ingersoll.
“When we couldn’t run the Battle of the Hors D’oeuvres last year, obviously, because of the pandemic we thought that this (Rally for Restaurants) was a great way to keep our restaurants connected to the agency while kind of giving them a helping hand, just because of all the different restrictions that had been placed on them. We wanted to not only continue to work with them, but also offer them support.”
While the future of the Rally for Restaurants coupon booklet is certain, it is unknown whether the Battle of the Hors D’oeuvres will make a comeback.
“We are not 100 per cent sure yet. We’ve been talking about if we’re going to run that one specifically again or if we’re going to try something a little bit different. But we are hoping to have an in-person event again next year of some sort. There will be something, we just don’t know what it will look like yet. It may be very similar, it may be different.”