The initial beginnings of this project stemmed from the questions asked between friends and family: "What do you want to eat?" and "Where do you want to eat?"
Within Montreal, there has always been a lot of options which can sometimes be overwhelming. I noticed among most people, there was an eagerness to try new places but sometimes out of convenience, the same spots were chosen time and time again.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, everything suddenly changed. I was witnessing a city that once thrived through its culinary presence be reduced to a takeout-only existence and saw many businesses struggle to keep their doors open. Through continued research, it became very apparent that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) owned establishments were being disproportionately affected by the exceptional circumstances. As my awareness grew, I actively sought ways to support and create community throughout this difficult period.
During this critical time, where we put our money ultimately determines what our world will look like post-pandemic; it dictates which businesses will stay open, which will close, and where our values lay. Green Guide Montréal was created to direct food lovers towards independent BIPOC owned businesses throughout the island, dividing it by neighbourhood to help us make more informed decisions of where we eat while (hopefully) discovering new cuisines, cultures and opening a conversation around the importance of food. Meals are not only a form of nourishment but also a form of resistance.*
What started as a personal project eventually grew into a public project through the encouragement of friends that led to winning a #RisingYouth Community Service Grant from TakingITGlobal that allowed me to expand my initial ideas. Thank you for joining me on this journey - it's a work in progress that I hope to build upon, adjust and improve. Let's create community & solidarity through our mutual love of food and uplift BIPOC restaurant owners - happy eating! - Serena Gronlund, founder.
*More information can be found here