April 15, 2020
Love can’t be taken away. The hearts and quotes attached to our meals (and building) serve as a reminder; and love in turn is rippling out into the community.
“On one hand it seems like this all just happened, then on the other hand it’s like how long have we been doing this?” Those were the initial thoughts of Amy Meader, co-owner, as she reflected the timeline of events since having to close the dining room of Rivalries in Falmouth and Portland. “We had to switch our business model around and do things differently, and we weren’t even sure if we could do it.”
Overwhelmed with emotions, Amy and her team realized they were in a position where they could safely and thoughtfully prepare food for people in the community, while being mindful of public health concerns. “Once we were comfortable with everything,” Amy said, “We realized we were filling a need. We became a service for elderly with underlying health conditions who felt safer picking up curbside than walking into a grocery store. We also became a reprieve for families who needed a break from the monotony. Families can pick-up curbside taco kits for Taco Tuesday and enjoy the activity of making a meal with their family. It returns a small sense of normalcy.”
Rivalries has been a pillar in the community that represents good energy. Amy referenced a feeling of duality where you can combine feeling the hardship and feeling the good; she reiterated that both can co-exist. “I want to honor that,” she said, “because it ripples out in a positive way.” And it certainly has.
Amy has been delving deeper into the needs of the community. She believes in the #PowerOfCommunity and is working on initiatives such as “Neighborhood Ambassadors” where a member of a neighborhood can pick-up curbside meals for residents interested and “Feeding the Frontlines” where people or businesses can donate to provide meals to health care professionals on the front lines. Amy says “I feel honored to be part of this community. So many people are stepping forward to help. It all counts. Every bit of it.”
To ripple out the hope, positivity and love even further, Rivalries has been incorporating red hearts and quotes, in addition to custom love inspired cards donated by local artist Donald Verger, on all of the meals that go out their door. When you grab your to-go meal, reading the quote and seeing the heart inspires a moment of stillness where you can pause and reflect on the positive in your hands and open your heart to it. Amy reached out to her neighbor, retired doctor, Tim Tolford, with an idea to utilize his woodcrafting skills to create a large wooden heart to attach to the side of their building which would serve as a reminder that love can’t be taken away. Within two days, Tim designed, created, attached and donated his work of art!
Rivalries will continue offering curbside pick-up/take-out and family meals when the State of Maine allows restaurants to open their doors for dine-in service. The tangible symbol of love, the heart on the building, will continue to ripple out in a positive way, well after we overcome these unprecedented times.
Love always prevails ❤️❤️❤️