A big change has happened in the Gallagher Centre. The concession stand has a new sponsor, new look, and new chef working behind the scenes. It is now the Harvest Grill, with Harvest Meats on board as sponsor for the next three years with an option to renew for three more.
The sponsorship comes with a lot of changes for the concession itself. It looks different, with a more open design. In terms of convenience, a new point-of-sale system means that debit and credit cards are now welcome.
A big change will be the food, and the Harvest Grill now features Chef Aron Thiessen, a red seal chef. Events Manager Jan Morrison said that in hiring Thiessen his knowledge will translate to the food, as well as the operation of the concession itself. They hope that with an experienced chef at the helm they will be able to find efficiencies in the operation of the concession.
The choices for the menu come from listening to the public, said Morrison. That means more healthy options, as well as making more from scratch.
The decision to approach Harvest Meats for a partnership came from a desire to connect with a major local business.
“You hear people all of the time talking about shopping local, we went one step further and partnered local. Now we’re going to be able to showcase their products at our concession,” Morrison said.
Geoff Propp, Vice-President and General Manager of Harvest Meats, said that from their perspective, it was a natural fit to sponsor the Harvest Grill.
“We love to do as much as we can in the community... We’re super excited about the opportunity, and are looking forward to the partnership for the three year term, and hopefully beyond that as well.”
With Harvest Meats on board as sponsor, that means there will be Harvest products on the menu. Propp said that their goal is to work with the chef to put together a menu that makes sense, and he will be touring Harvest Meats to help him plan the menu.
“With a chef on board, he can cook up all kinds of things for the public to try.”
Propp also sees potential to use the concession as a way to test out new products, as a ‘test kitchen’ to give people an early glimpse of what Harvest Meats wants to try next.
“It gives us a forum to try new products... Put it on the menu, see how well it tests. New things we’re planning to take to market.”
The Harvest Grill is open now, and Morrison recommends that people get to the upcoming Yorkton Terriers home opener on Sept. 13 a bit early, to have a meal at the Harvest Grill to see – and taste – the changes for themselves.