By Ted Simpson –
Calling all Westboro foodies, there’s a hip new club coming to your ‘hood that will expand your culinary consciousness and kickstart your social circle too.
The Westboro Supper Club is a blossoming idea concocted by Mary Marquardt and her long-time friend, Andrea Khalid. The pair of health care professionals are currently devoting their free time to building a membership base for the new club. Anyone who is interested in exploring the cuisine of Westboro and beyond is welcome.
The whole idea came about because Mary was looking to get out of the house and meet new people. “When I moved to Westboro, I really wanted to get to know more people in the community,” says Mary.
She soon found the Hintonburg Supper Club, though it turned out her home in the ‘boro was a bit too far west to qualify for that particular club. And fair enough, the Hintonburg Supper Club, organized by the Hintonburg Community Association, has been going strong for over seven years and often runs at full capacity as it is. Apparently people like supper.
The idea is really not so different than some of the social enterprises she used to organize in her previous home city of Montreal, so she decided to start her own supper club.
“My husband and I used to run what we called a luxury social club, which was a membership based club where we hosted exclusive events,” says Mary. “We did that for about five or six years.”
Quickly realizing the level of busyness involved in the project, Mary called on Andrea to take on some of the social media and marketing aspects.
And with all that in place, the Westboro Supper Club is ready to take on members and start planning some suppers. And that’s where you come in.
The Westboro Supper Club isn’t limited to fine dining. It’s intended to be an exploration of Westboro’s culinary offerings, explains Andrea.
“It’s not exclusive to just higher-end restaurants, we’re looking to try a bit of everything, we have a big vision for it,” she says.
While membership in the club might be limited to Westboro and Wellington West residents, Mary and Andrea don’t plan to limit dining options to that same area. While no plans have been set in stone as of yet, the pair’s future plans might include summer picnics and food truck crawls.
Their hope is to have the first event take place in February, with a new supper happening every second month. They expect a turnout of about 15-25 people per meal as an ideal group. Members would simply pay for whatever food and drink they had consumed.
While inspiration through food is the club’s main intention, Mary and Andrea dwell on the sense of community as the most rewarding aspect to the project.
“Food unites people, it’s a great way to meet people, it’s very casual, while at the same time exploring great restaurants,” says Mary.
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of work and family and simply forget to take the time to treat yourself. The Westboro Supper Club is a friendly reminder that we have a wonderful community of friends and food waiting just down the road.
“It gives us something to look forward to, as a stay-at-home parent, I know I have that night in a couple of weeks I’m going out for dinner to enjoy that time for ourselves,” says Andrea.
“You get to a certain time in your life and meeting new people is not that easy, it’s hard, so hopefully this will help to create new relationships and friendships,” adds Mary.