By Tina Comeau
There were a lot of teams coming and going from on and off the ice during the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth.
But those weren’t the only teams that helped to pull off this event. There was the host committee team and there was the volunteer team.
And for a Yarmouth business that has been closed for a while, there was their team too.
Although the Time Out Lounge remains open, Wilson’s Family Restaurant hasn’t been serving meals for some time. Like other businesses, it has seen business decline due to the absence of a ferry in Yarmouth, in addition to other factors.
But when eateries in town were approached to submit tenders to provide meals for the six visiting teams coming to Yarmouth for the international hockey competition, Gloria Wilson decided this was an opportunity she wanted her restaurant to be on side with.
And so when the business was one of several local restaurants selected, it threw together a team of its own to feed the teams.
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“We’ve all been putting a lot of hard work and effort into it,” says Suzanne Clairmont, one of those hired to help out.
She said at the beginning of the week feeding the teams was pretty hectic as they had to bang out 30 meals in a short period of time. Therefore a buffet meal was the preferred route. By the middle part of the week the staff had settled into a routine to handle the rush that came with getting a team in and out the door in a limited amount of time.
“They come in, they sit down, they eat and they’re gone,” Clairmont said last Thursday morning as the restaurant was preparing to feed Team Russia.
Pre-game meals were the most difficult ones to look after because the menu was restricted as to the types of food that could be served. The other meal menus were a bit more relaxed, she said.
Clairmont said the staff was always excited knowing that another team was on the way.
“We get goosebumps when we know they’re coming. We’re excited. If we get the winning team or the losing team, it doesn’t matter. We wish them all good luck, although it’s a little bit harder with the ones who can’t understand us,” she said.
Still, a friendly smile goes a long way.
Clairmont said what they enjoyed most of all was having the opportunity to help Yarmouth host an event of this magnitude.
As for the restaurant’s future, Wilson’s says it may look again at reopening in the near future. But for the time being, certainly having the business associated with the world challenge and the economic spinoff associated with it has been much appreciated.
And to the coaches and parents of the players that came in and out for meals, the staff would send the following message, “We are very pleased with the way that the boys conducted themselves and the parents and the coaches should be very proud of them,” said Clairmont.