As we've seen far too often, an unfortunate part of COVID-19 is some businesses struggling. Many restaurants have been forced to close. However, here in Cape Vincent, one restaurant has reinvented itself, and now things are better than ever.
Todd Sheffield's restaurant, Crave, in Cape Vincent didn't look like this earlier this year. Just a few months ago, it was a seasonal sit-down, fine dining restaurant. People loved it.
But when COVID-19 hit, Sheffield was forced to close. He attempted to reopen over the summer, but had to close again. Knowing he had to do something to save his business, he changed his entire model, shifting from fine-dining to a year-round deli, with subs, pizza, wings and more. It was something this summer destination lacked.
"There are not a lot of places that are open seven days a week, especially in the wintertime. So, readjusting and doing a new business plan was probably the best thing I've done in a while," said Sheffield.
Having been a chef for three decades, you'd think the move would have a bit of disappointment attached to it, but Sheffield doesn't look at it that way. He sees an opportunity to continue to provide quality food, and appeal to a much wider customer base, which in the end, is what it's really all about.
"I find it more enjoyable just because we are busier than when we were doing the fine dining thing. I can still create the kind of specials that bring good food to everybody and let everybody enjoy the food," said Sheffield.
Sheffield has no plans to go back to fine dining once COVID-19 passes. The revamped Crave Deli is here to stay, and with that, there's plenty of room to fuel his culinary creativity as well.