While many industries have been crushed by business downturns during the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s not why Kassy and Tyler Scott are leaving. Rare rear.
The restaurant was running well, and the couple were actually considering hiring additional help as diners continued to return to their dining rooms, Kassy says.
But the pandemic made them think about their future, their two children and what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives.
“We always joke that we each aged five years during the pandemic,” says Kassy. “We had to think about a lot of things. Are we really happy? Are we satisfied doing what we are doing now? »
The couple therefore sell the business and start a new venture: Rare Escape, a guided outdoor dining experience.
On April 12, the two announced their intention to sell Rarewhich they bought back in 2019, a year before the pandemic changed everything.
COVID-19 hasn’t hit Rare financially as hard as it has hit other companies, Kassy says.
“Rare is a successful business, even coming out of the worst of the pandemic,” she says.
But the ordeal made the couple think. During the pandemic they tried to spend more time outdoors which was a passion before they bought the restaurant.
This desire to reconnect with nature led to the decision to take their business out to create something new.
“We know it’s going to take off because of our passion,” says Kassy.
The business angle was born after Tyler took an outdoor dining course offered by Peterborough and Kawarthas Tourism.
Starting May 1, diners will take outdoor tours, culminating in a nature dining experience. The service will operate twice a month on weekends.
Kassy says they have fostered relationships with nearby farmers to host businesses on their properties, having close farm-to-table experience. They think of honey-focused dinners at bee farms or meals at forager farms.
“(Tyler) will cook a nice dinner over the fire and talk to them while he cooks,” she describes.
The two came up with the idea as they “found a space to escape our chaotic lifestyle” and wanted to provide a similar experience for others.
“This is our next calling, this is our next chapter,” she says.
But it will mean saying goodbye to their steakhouse and the customers who have supported them during the pandemic. Kassy says it’s hard to say goodbye, but they’re ready to mentor and support the new owners if they want.
“We really hope that someone will come and carry on the tradition,” she adds.
Those who want to follow the Scott journey and try out the new venture can go to RareEscape.ca.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Kassy said.