Many people know Everyday Kitchen for its sourdough doughnuts, but for Lulu’s Lodge, the coffee bar is known for its charity work.
Everyday Kitchen, located south of Value Village on Hamilton Street, started supporting local charities in March after seeing the fear and uncertainty COVID-19 caused in the community. Its latest partner was Lulu’s Lodge, a five-bedroom transitional home for youth facing homelessness in Regina.
“We knew we wanted to do something to try and inject some hope into the city,” said Mark Shmelinski, co-owner of Everyday Kitchen along with his wife, Katie.
Everyday Kitchen did this by donating 100 percent of its profit for nine weeks to various local organizations. By July they had donated $50, 000 before stopping the program. In August, Everyday Kitchen started again by donating 10 percent of its monthly profit to a select charity. In August, their charity of choice was Mobile Crisis, an organization that provides crisis intervention services. For September, it was Lulu’s Lodge.
“Lulu’s Lodge is just a unique program in that it’s supporting a very marginalized population,” Shmelinski said.
Blair Roberts, the communications officer of the John Howard Society of Saskatchewan, the organization that runs Lulu’s Lodge, explained Lulu’s Lodge doesn’t run on any government funding, so they rely on community support and fundraisers. He said anything goes a long way.
“We’re thrilled to have the support from people who make really good doughnuts,” Roberts said with a laugh.
According to Roberts, the support received from Everyday Kitchen will go a long way – not just financially.
“We’re thrilled for the rest of the community to even just hear our name and know what Lulu’s Lodge is about, on top of the funding that’s going to go a long way in offering the supports that we provide,” Roberts said.
Without the support of the community, Roberts said they couldn’t provide the services that are offered through Lulu’s Lodge.
“We can’t thank Everyday Kitchen enough for choosing us and we’re so grateful to all community members who choose to give to Lulu’s Lodge and help us make that a reality and a safe place for kids who need it,” Roberts said.
Going forward, Shmelinski said Everyday Kitchen’s charity initiative is a permanent addition to their business, alongside the doughnuts. He said it’s important to give back to the community in whatever means necessary.
“There’s a large disparity right here in our city between people who have wealth and people who don’t,” Shmelinski said. “We want to bring awareness to it.”
As for why Everyday Kitchen does this, Shmelinksi said it’s a necessary way to give back to the community. He said it makes life more meaningful for the Shmelinski family, while also helping the youth at Lulu’s Lodge.
“It’s not just about making money,” said Shmelinski. “If it’s only about making money in your life then it ends up being hollow.”
Everyday Kitchen plans to pick a charity for October soon.