This is a GoFundMe campaign for the people affected by what's happened to the Crab Park Chowdery over the past week.
The Crab Park Chowdery received plenty of media attention over the past week. More than 1700 people came out to comment in one way or another on Instagram alone about the alleged rat recorded by cell phone dipping in and out of a bowl of their soup. Everything about the business has since been scrutinized, despite the fact that it's been making its customers happy for the last two years without incident.
As it is more than likely that the business and brand are not surviving this - I would like to appeal to you: the public – to donate money, to support the hospitality community members who are being affected by this. Basically, I’m going to chip in whatever I can spare – despite not being able to spare much – because, closing down a business is expensive in this sort of circumstance.
I’m also going to share a small story with you about the guys behind this small business – which is also motivating me to post this campaign (even though it’s an oddity on this platform and potentially off-putting to some for that reason).
The story is simple: they did me a favour the other day.
Because of their willingness to help me when I needed a hand, without hesitation – together we fed close to four hundred people in the alley between the Carnegie Center and the Maple Overdose Prevention Site on December 27th by where Main St. and East Hastings meet. No one got paid. It was a blip on social media – it just barely registered. Their was no brand-flaunting, we were just doing a good little deed. Without their help – that wouldn’t have happened. So, I decided to do this – I’m hoping you’ll pitch in too.
What can be learned from this? I'd like to say that we have all learned that anything is possible in the restaurant industry, including a full rat being served to a patron by accident, but I don't believe that - I don't believe, from a Chef's perspective, that it's possible that that rat was served to that woman who posted that content to Instagram that day. You probably don't know me, but I've fed more people than I'll ever be able to put a number to – in Vancouver and elsewhere. I've seen Crab Park's processes from beginning to end, and I just don't believe it. I've done walk throughs of the facilities involved in this scenario personally – and I just don't think it's possible that such a thing could have happened without anyone noticing.
For that rat to have ended up in that bowl of soup, it would have had to be emptied out from a steam kettle (you don’t just let your guard down and look away, or start playing on your cell phone when you’re pouring half your body weight in hot soup out of a steam kettle using gravity and leverage – something you’d know if you’ve used one) into a neutral vessel, and then transported to its next location, where it would have been poured out of that vessel into another for heating. At that point, it would have been stirred, tasted, and inspected multiple times until its temperature was acceptable by the company’s food standards. From there, it would have had to have been ladled from a soup urn, carefully into a bread bowl that would have barely accommodated the size of it. The tail of the thing alone is longer than the width of the opening of the bread bowl. We’re talking about a two-ounce rat, maybe three, by way of a six-ounce ladle, getting into an eight-ounce serving of soup.
Could it have been staged? Given the statistic likelihood of that rat making it into that soup that day – extremely low – this Chef thinks so, and he's not alone. So, like many people online – I think this is a concoction, and I feel for those that its affected.
Kirk Lapointe of Vancouver Is Awesome wrote on January 4th – “if the rodent doesn’t fit, you must acquit”. I’d say so. But, that doesn't matter now – damage has been done.
The truth of what happened that day may never be clear for all to see. The employees on the scene at the time elected not to keep the rat. Security cameras in that location were not designed to keep an eye on patrons - and no one wishes that they were working, in order to get to the bottom of this, more than the business itself and its employees. Regardless of the truth - the damage to the business is done, and irreversible. It should be trusted that the owners will be honest and professional in whatever their next steps are with this, but they have certainly lost what they’ve invested in this nearly three-year-old business.
Again, I'd like to appeal to you - because I think it's the right thing to do - to pitch in whatever you can spare to help these guys figure out next steps, with staff, the company's investments, the brand, and all other considerations.
Also, if you have any spare time, write your MP, and call out Trudeau about Canada’s current UNDRIP violation against the Wet’suwet’en Nation. It’s wrong, and it shames us all.