This warm and delightful Kerr Village restaurant serves up tasty meals that just happen to be vegan.
After searching and researching for the right location to set up their restaurant, Alka Dhir and Vanusa Moore landed on a perfect spot nestled in the middle of Oakville’s Kerr Village. This location screamed community and connection in its surroundings, which was right on brand for their shared vision.
"We wanted Community Restaurant to feel like a nice place to visit; a full-service dining experience for a dinner date, family time, or a girl’s night out," adds Dhir.
A vegetarian since youth, Alka Dhir remembers making the change to a vegan lifestyle several years ago. Unable to find a restaurant that offered the right ambience, a community feel and the selection of foods she was looking for, Dhir turned to her longtime friend Vanusa Moore to partner with her in creating the Community Restaurant.
The idea was to design an atmosphere that was welcoming and a setting favourable for building connections over a meal or dessert, something that would be a go-to place for groups of people. The partners didn’t want it to be called a vegan restaurant, but rather a place to eat that offers food for everyone.
"I have an Indian background, and Vanusa is Brazilian. We are female entrepreneurs of colour, trying to make it in an industry that is difficult to get off the ground," remarks Dhir. "We opened a full year before COVID hit. Grateful for our success, but not without the support of the community. We opened seven days a week during the height of the pandemic and still remain open to meet demand."
"This past year and a half has been hard for so many, and we are trying to do our part to help others here as much as we are able. We have 25 people on staff. Even when we didn’t have the hours of work for our staff, we gave them free meals, if they needed it. We didn’t let anyone go; in fact, we are hiring right now."