There’s a handful of restaurants that Andrew and I like to go to when we feel like a delicious dinner, nice service and a relaxed atmosphere. Antler is a small restaurant that is on this list.

Last week when we went to Antler, I took a dozen mini cupcakes for the kitchen – not because we’d spoken to the owner or knew the wait staff by name and not to promote PGB cupcakes in the west end haha – but more in the nature of, “Hi from one small business to another.”

So it was a big surprise that we read about Antler in today’s Globe & Mail of all places!

How it has been picketed by animal rights protesters resulting in the owner carving up a deer haunch (it is a game-focused place) in the front window!

Oh my gosh, such drama in the ‘hood!

I won’t go into the details because if you’re interested, it turns out the article ran in every newspaper and is even being discussed in Houston – so a quick web search will tell you all about it.

I only mention it here because I felt so frustrated. I try to keep this blog focused on the positive aspects of running a business or at least a constructive view about the challenges but for some reason, this felt over the top.

Without having ever talked to the owner, based on my own experience, I know the guy is facing increasing ingredient costs, higher rents and salaries and the ongoing challenge of every single business to stay in the black.

I thought of a phrase I first heard from my son Ted, “you do you”: be a vegan and  be a protestor – but I think one’s approach always matters in life. Even protests need to be fair and putting a big sign that says, “Murder” in front of a small business carrying on legal activities on Dundas Street isn’t.



About the author

Jean Blacklock

Jean opened the popular Prairie Girl Bakery in the financial district of Toronto in 2011. She owned and operated the business until it closed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic’s impact on downtown Toronto. Read more about her background in commerce, law, and entrepreneurship here.

By Jean Blacklock


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