April 13, 2021
Category: Blog Posts
Rosewood Foods: The Little Dinette That Could
Rosewood Foods has a lot going for it. Location-wise, it’s on the bustling Rice Howard Way, a short walk from several hotels, including The Westin and the iconic Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. But it’s the food that is phenomenal and the reason why it’s been getting rave reviews from foodies and everyone in the know.
It has a menu filled with decadent takes on breakfast and lunch classics. Seriously, Rosewood’s breakfast sandwich might be the best in the city — once you try it, you may never go back to a fast-food place for breakfast again. Downtown office workers would agree that the Rosewood hamburger is the best in the core. That’s pretty impressive for a fast-casual restaurant that opened in April 2020, a month into the pandemic.
Rosewood had a pretty rough start. Months before anyone had ever uttered “COVID-19,” there were challenges opening the restaurant. Wife-and-husband owners Angela Chau-Gado and Jesse Gado signed the lease for the space late spring of 2019. The agreement offered several months of free occupancy so they could complete renovations and add necessary equipment and fixtures. However, Chau-Gado says that the grace period in the lease was burned up before they could even open their doors. “There were delays with the permitting, just to be able to start renovating,” she says.
COVID-19 arrived in Alberta, right when they were ready to open. “It took us a while to figure out what we were going to do,” Chau-Gado says. They decided to adjust their opening plan and limit themselves to delivery and takeout until the restrictions eased. “We really had no expectations,” says Chau-Gado. “When it came to COVID, we had nothing like it before to compare it to.”
Within weeks, delivery and pick-ups were doing so well that more family members were brought in to help the duo. Gado’s mom and brother now work in the kitchen. During Downtown Dining Week, they are offering takeout and outdoor dining, something they’re used to by now.
There has been very little government assistance for Rosewood Foods though. As Chau-Gado explains, when the first support programs were released, it was limited to existing businesses only – enterprises that could show how much revenue they lost in 2020 over 2019. (The Alberta government recently revised its Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant to allow new businesses to receive up to $15,000 in funding.)
Business has steadily been growing and even with the nearby hotels running skeleton operations, Chau-Gado says the staff at Rosewood have still noticed an increase in walk-ins from the Westin and Hotel Mac over the summer.
What they’re most grateful for is the support of the community. “We’ve started to notice that we have regulars. We are just so grateful for the support that we’ve received from Edmontonians.” Chau-Gado is pretty excited to be participating in their first Downtown Dining Week this spring.
Rosewood’s $20 All-Day Combo
SANDWICH (choose one)
- Coronation Chicken - Roast chicken salad w. curry mayo, celery, pickled currant & mustard seed, shaved radish, bitter greens, house focaccia OR
- Coronation Broccoli - Roast broccoli, curry mayo slaw, pickled currant & mustard seed, house focaccia
SIDE (choose one)
- Crispy Potatoes w. House Kewpie Mayo OR
- Kale & Cucumber Gomadare Salad - AB cherry tomato, shaved radish, house sesame seed dressing
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie