Not many industries have taken more of the COVID-19 brunt than the restaurant business.
Even those eateries that have been around forever have had to deal with closures, mask mandates, vaccination cards and labour shortages for nearly two years now.
Imagine, however, that you took a big risk to fulfil a dream of living in the Okanagan and running a restaurant—and that restaurant opened about nine weeks before North America essentially shut down on March 11, 2020.
Welcome to the world of Ryan and Amanda Henley, who partnered with another couple to open Pür & Simple near the corner of Banks Road and Harvey Avenue in December 2019. The dream was to raise their family in Kelowna, build a sought-after breakfast and lunch locale where the community could come together. Just like nearly everyone in the restaurant industry, however, the past couple of years have been a marathon of hurdles with little reprieve. But the Henleys are holding steadfast to hope that their restaurant can be that destination where everyone feels those stressors fade away and a sense of connectedness—and full bellies.
“On behalf of everybody—restaurant staff, owners and community—we’re just kind of navigating through this and looking for some light and connection to really ramp up again and feel that joy together,” Amanda says. “We have an incredible staff and a sense of family among us who are all eager to welcome guests into our Pür & Simple home for the holidays.
“We still feel like there is a bit of a heaviness out there right now. Our province has been through so much, and we really want to strive to be that place where you feel a little lighter when you come in. You treat yourself to some nice specialty coffees or some yummy food, maybe connect with people and then feel lighter when you leave.”
Pür & Simple, which is located next to the Walmart entrance off Banks Road, offers a huge menu of breakfast delicacies, including a variety of skillets, avocado toast, eggs benedict, brioche bread French toast, mimosas and specialty coffees. The best part? Breakfast is available every minute the restaurant is open, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pür & Simple’s lunch menu, which is served between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays only, should not be overlooked, though, Amanda says. It features burgers, salads, sandwiches and wraps that would make any mouth water.
“We have options for every kind of palette and diet—and gluten-free crepes,” Amanda says.
And that is why the Henleys want Pür & Simple to be a community meeting place. She loves it when she sees a group of women come in for mimosas. She loves meeting families that come in for a meal and some bonding time. She loves it when business meetings are held in the restaurant or when remote workers plug in their laptop and make Pür & Simple their office for a few hours.
“It helps build that community feeling, where we ask: How are you doing this week? How's work?” Henley says. “We get that sense of community, because when you work seven days a week, it’s nice to be connected to the people that come through.”
If the pandemic weren’t bad enough, the restaurant industry has also had to deal with supply chain issues due to the recent floods, wildfire smoke that chased tourists away and the intense late June heat that actually forced Pür & Simple to close for a couple of hours each day one week in order to prevent heat stress for their staff and damage to their kitchen equipment.
One could say there is no way that 2022 could be worse, but that’s what everyone was saying last year at this time. But Henley believes, no matter the stressors out there, we can still come together over breakfast and feel a little better about the world when we leave.
So she welcomes you all to their Pür & Simple breakfast table. Come say hello to her or her hubby on duty, banter with her warm and witty serving staff or listen to the off-key duets that float out sometimes too often from the kitchen staff, but leave you with a laugh, and hopefully a little more joy in your day.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.