If you're here for our menu, please click here: TTR SOS MENU
If you're here to find out what happened and see how you can help, please read below.
Baby Tax and TLDR at the end
Thank you, we love you, we're so sorry.
We, the owners and chefs of The Tempered Room, are in this business out of pure love of craft; we live in a rented basement apartment in Parkdale with our baby, and any money we make goes right back into the business. Due to the heavy labour and quality ingredients involved in authentic French pastry, most of our revenue comes from our creative and elevated offsite catering, which is no more, and rightly so. We figured out how to adapt.
We always do. We recovered from two recent and aggressive break-ins and robberies. After two years of Service Canada, we finally sponsored our head baker back to the country. We catered an event the same day our baby was born, and a wedding the day after, with Papa rushing back and forth from the hospital and Maman co-ordinating remotely. We didn't allow any lapses while our hero baby was quarantined at Sick Kids through the winter holidays, undergoing surgeries whilst fighting off acute bronchiolitis extremely bravely and a-cutely. And through all this, our employees became the best chefs and baristas in town, and never let us down. We cannot let them down.
We are nothing if not resilient. When all events got cancelled and we started hemorrhaging financially, we knew this wasn't staycation time for us. If we closed, not only would our community would suffer, we would not be able to reopen. We worked around the clock and around our razor thin margins, removing any and all excess, enacting every safety regulation to exceed required standards, and reinvented our business model and offerings completely.
It may be to no avail. We retain the services of a highly accoladed finance group to keep our books, and functioning on a routine pre-approved payment schedule, 6.5k in payroll tax accidentally left our bank account. This happened despite the government widely announcing a hold on all tax related payment till September. No money from our floundering industry should be going to the government, instead exactly the opposite.
After COVID hit, it was understood that nothing, including tax payments was routine or usual any more. Just to be safe, we asked our bookkeeper to please keep a vigilant eye on the books. They agreed completely, and we felt confident that we're in the hands of a capable group that we are paying well to do some of our worrying for us. The next day we suddenly found out that we will not be able to pay our employees the next pay period when our banking information updated. That same day, 15 group had taken their payment out of our already devastated account as well.
When we contacted them, we faced a dismissive initial response, and were told to close. We then beseeched the higher levels to get the money back somehow, or to take responsibility and compensate us. When we were shut down again, we asked our family and friends to send impassioned e-mails to the company. It worked! Ish. The president of the company called us to apologise. He assured us it wasn't done of out malice, but that there's nothing to be done. They will very kindly refund us their payment for that month, but since their finances are also suffering, and their employees are understandably buried in T-4s, we're on our own. Bottom line: the money is gone, and everyone is in the same boat.
Not quite. This transaction that rendered us unable to make payroll was completely preventable and completely unnecessary. Obviously it wasn't done purposefully. We forgive them. We have no choice but to, but we cannot keep what happened a secret for them. We called and e-mailed CRA, our MP, other accountants, applied for every loan and subsidy under the sun, but the system is overwhelmed. We are not ready to give up, but we can't hardwork our way out of this one, not in this economy.
So we are doing something we never thought we would. We are reaching out for financial aid from our community so we can pay our very deserving employees. If you have the means, and if you would like to see us survive this time and go on to thrive* (and if you know us, you know we will), please consider contributing to help ease the burden of this terrible mistake. If half our followers spare $2 each, we will exceed our goal.
If you can't spare donations, please campaign for us, get us in touch someone who can help, or order from our new SOS menu on our website (www.thetemperedroom.com/sos ). Viennoiserie pooling anyone? We also accept jokes, but they better be hilarious.
What goes around comes around, or so we hope with all our might. Here's to many more years of passionate small businesses, never resting on our laurels, raising each other up, and to feeding the best human beings we have ever known the best croissants in Toronto.
Greg Laird and Humera Ali
Owners, The Tempered Room
*Actions we vow to continue/take if we are able to remain open/reopen after this pandemic:
- Evolving with the situation to provide an increasing number of essential food group items for pick-up and delivery as a safer, cleaner, and easier to access alternative - moving to only delivery if needed
- Welcoming and supporting competition, it's how quality improves, creativity flourishes, and prices are kept fair (we'll still be better though).
- Actively working to reduce prices as we usher in a new normal of financial frugality. We have urged our suppliers to contact their suppliers so we can reduce costs top down without the little guys suffering
-Continuing on as a teaching kitchen for all George Brown students who pass through
- Sourdough starter, bread making, and survival baking online lessons
- If things improve; croissant, pastry, and chocolate lessons
- Donating our time and resources to The Stop CFC
- Donating even more bread to those without means in the community
- Asking those without means to please come back after close so we can help them out
- Pioneering safe and ethical food business practices during this new normal
- Prioritizing social distancing and the mental and emotional well-being of everyone we can above all during these surreal times
- Getting Chef Greg to stop singing with his new, anguish marinated tenor, for the sake of absolutely everyone
1) Our entire payroll got sent to the govt
2) We can't pay our employees
- Ivana Santini
- Kera Toole
Fundraising team: Team TTR (3)
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more