Simmering Kettle owner Shalu Persaud is run off her feet.
Business has been brisk at her Bryne Drive restaurant in Barrie since she made the decision not to close to indoor dining in violation of the province’s COVID-19 orders.
Persaud tells Barrie 360 politicians need to start listening to their constituents, adding people want to live. “Love trumps all,” she said. “God tells me to get up and show up, and I do it. If whatever comes, God will show me what to do next.”
Persaud has been fined $1,125 by bylaw officers, and she was also dinged for not renewing her business licence. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has suspended her liquor licence. “I had two businesses. I already gave up one. This is all I have. This is why I’m fighting so hard. This is all I have.” Persaud posted a video to Facebook on Friday indicating she is in the process of paying her fines and renewing her license.
Persaud said people have come to the restaurant to thank her. Someone dropped by the Simmering Kettle on Wednesday with a dozen roses for her.
Wearing a mask inside the restaurant is up to customers and staff.
“I respect where you are at,” said Persaud. “If you have a mask exemption, I respect it. If you don’t have a mask exemption and you have a mask, I respect it. Even with my staff, some have exemptions and others don’t. Those that don’t are wearing masks. It’s no different for my staff or for the customers.” Persaud said customers are leaving their names and phone numbers.
Asked if she was worried about a customer getting sick with COVID-19 and then coming back at her legally for opening her restaurant when she should have been closed, Persaud brushes that to the side. “No, because Walmart had cases and they still stayed open. So if they try and come with me at that, they got to answer as to why Walmart had to stay open the whole time.”
Persaud said she has heard from some other restaurant owners in the community who have indicated they are standing with her.
Persaud was asked what legal advice she has received. “I got God on my side. That’s my legal team, hun. I don’t know what else you want me to say, you know. God is on my side.”