Local foodies brought their appetites and their cameras to the table to support area restaurants through the City of Orillia’s Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) Orillia Foodies Unite! contest.
From June 7 through Sept. 27, 2021, foodies in Orillia and area shared photos of their favourite meals from local eateries on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #OrilliaFoodiesUnite.
“When we launched the Orillia Foodies Unite! contest, local restaurants were limited in how they could serve patrons due to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines,” said Coun. Ted Emond, Chair of the ERTF. “The contest was meant to encourage our local residents to get out and support those restaurants, so we could continue to have our diverse range of culinary options here in Orillia. I’m thrilled to say the community answered that call with gusto.”
Nearly 300 entries were received for the Orillia Foodies Unite! contest, both from patrons and from participating businesses. Photos were shared across social media showcasing meals, treats, and snacks from restaurants across the city.
Photos of local fare throughout Orillia and Lake Country (Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Severn, Rama and Ramara) were eligible and applicants could post multiple entries by using the hashtag #OrilliaFoodiesUnite for a chance to win one of two shop local prize packs.
On Sept. 28, winners were drawn randomly for the shop local prize packs – one winner from participant entries and one winner from business entries.
Tahnee Mader of Orillia won the participant contest with a photo from her Instagram account. Mader explored a diverse range of menu options from restaurants around the area, including Tre Sorelle, Sanafir, Eclectic Café, Sweet Times Bake Shoppe, Osmow’s Shawarma, Café Seoulista, Hermie’s Diner, and Era 67, but the winning entry was of an ice cream obtained from Marble Slab Creamery, which opened in Orillia this summer.
“My new husband (married Sept. 11, 2021) and I bought our home in Orillia three years ago and since then we have become very Orillia-proud!” Mader said. “We love this city and the sense of community that it provides. It means a lot to us to have partaken in this contest and to have won. All my friends and family hear on a regular basis about how much I love and advocate for my city, the best city, Orillia.”
Mader received a shop local prize pack valued at more than $500, containing donations from the Orillia Area CDC, Orillia District Chamber of Commerce Perch Festival, Downtown Orillia, the Orillia Museum of Art and History, and the City of Orillia.
PICNIC Snack Bar in Orillia won the business contest with a photo from their Facebook page, showing the bar portion of the tapas and wine bar. PICNIC participated in the contest frequently, sharing nearly 30 pictures with the #OrilliaFoodiesUnite hashtag between June 7 and Sept. 27.
“The contest was a lot of fun and had a lot of interest from residents and tourists alike,” said Darcy MacDonell, co-owner of PICNIC. “It was a unique initiative for Orillia.”
PICNIC received the shop local prize pack for businesses, containing City of Orillia swag and a gift certificate donated from a local business.
The Orillia Foodies Unite! online contest was supported by marketing through social media advertisements, communications from area partners, coasters provided to local restaurants, a video, and beyond.
The contest ran alongside the ERTF’s corresponding city-wide See You on the Patio program and Shop Local marketing campaign.
More information on the Orillia Foodies Unite! online contest and the See You on the Patio program can be found at orillia.ca/patio.