Maple Creek News
Lesser known, but well loved.
That’s the case of two southwestern Saskatchewan eateries named as “hidden food gems” in a mid-July CBC segment which asked people to share their favourite places to have a meal.
“I think a lot of people within Saskatchewan have gotten on board … and are trying really hard to promote their small town,” Tina Cresswell, owner of the Star Cafe in Maple Creek, which was named as one of the hidden gems, and how many enthusiastically share their favourite spots.
This includes promoting their small towns in the province, she said, and also to American tourists and people from across Canada.
“Saskatchewanians are uniting together to make Saskatchewan an attractive place to visit,” she said.
The Harvest Eatery and Fresh Market being 50 kilometres off of Highway 1 in Shaunavon, definitely puts the “hidden” in “hidden gem,” said Kristy Thienes, owner and general manager of the business which was also named as a hidden gem.
“When guests make the choice to make the detour off Highway 1 because they’ve heard great things, it’s always humbling,” she said. “When we decided to open in Shaunavon, Chef (Rusty) convinced me that people in Saskatchewan aren’t afraid of driving, and he was right.”
It’s gratifying that customers will put in the effort to promote the Star Cafe when the call goes out for things like “Hidden Food Gem,” said Cressell — the team at the cafe work hard, and it’s nice to see the benefits of this.
Thienes echoed this sentiment, that people are talking about the restaurant so positively means all the hard work they put in isn’t going unnoticed.
“It definitely makes the long hours worth it!” she said.
Both the Star Cafe and Harvest Eatery have been highlighted in other top 10 lists, promotions, awards and with other recognitions — which also brings in more attention to them and their communities.
These sort of promotions and reviews done by guests mean the most to them, said Thienes.
“It means that our guests, the radio listeners, took their time, not because they had to but because they want to, to help promote our business. It tells us that we have indeed made a positive impact on them, which is our number one goal at Harvest Eatery.”
The week following the “hidden gems” list being released has been one of their busiest this year, said Cresswell. And there’s a larger impact that benefits the whole community, she added.
“There are many (Maple Creek) businesses who are worthy of that recognition,” she said. “And it brings attention to Maple Creek and what we have to offer.
“It helps grow the community.”