What better way is there to bring a community together than food? Especially during the holidays, food holds a central place in our shared experience. Cachet Supper Club in Newmarket is a unique culinary adventure. It can best be described as an upscale dining venue and wine bar with the feel of a social club. With a fusion-style menu and many great events throughout the year, Cachet aims to break down barriers with creativity, elegance and community spirit.
The level of involvement which Cachet has with the community of Newmarket is no exaggeration. Not only is it prominently located along the historic Newmarket Main Street, but the restaurant is also actively involved in fundraising initiatives and local events. If you are in York Region for any of Newmarket’s festivals and beer gardens, the chances are good that Cachet Supper Club is doing the catering. To get locals and visitors involved in Newmarket culinary life, Cachet offers a Cooking with Cachet virtual cooking experience. Additionally, because Jennifer is a member of the Newmarket BIA, the restaurant has been able to collaborate with other businesses on joint events and initiatives.
“We have so many different elements of ourselves to define who we are,” she states. “All of this, along with our take-out and delivery, makes us an integral part of this community.”
As a result of this involvement, Newmarket loves Cachet as much as Cachet loves Newmarket. Since opening their doors, the public has responded wonderfully. In fact, Cachet has won the Small Business of the Year award from the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce more than once, and Jennifer herself has won the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award. If you want to know what kind of innovative and creative ideas the team at Cachet regularly bring to life, check out our blog post about one of their previous experiences… inside specially constructed igoos:
Because local not-for-profit organizations often have campaigns which run parallel to what Cachet is involved with, the Cachet team and these organizations are able to mutually support one another. Recently, one organization had its fourth annual free Thanksgiving for the food bank, and Cachet was out in the community knocking on doors with food for those in need. “It was a great meal this year,” Jennifer says. “It had to be different due to COVID, so we divided it up between delivery, take-out, and having guests on the patio. We fed about 400 people this year.” Other charitable collaborations include Inn from the Cold (a hub for Newmarket’s homeless and at-risk community), local foodbanks and seniors’ groups. Jennifer adds proudly, “The community has really adopted us as a means of helping people with food.”
In years before COVID-19, Cachet was a popular choice for businesses that wanted to celebrate with a holiday meal, and these celebrations would take place either at the restaurant or at local venues at which Cachet would arrive with a catered dining experience. But even though the holidays will look different this year, Cachet is still offering modified versions of some of its favourite events. The holiday edition of Cooking with Cachet will be available, and there are several great collaborations with three different restaurants and a local not-for-profit in the works—details to come soon.
With all these wonderful culinary and community accomplishments to boast about, it should come as no surprise that food has been a hallmark of the holiday season for Jennifer for as long as she can remember. Because of this, she has sought to incorporate some of the time-honoured dishes that she and her staff love. “We do features, and bringing in traditional comfort holiday food is something personal to me. We do this as a kind of outreach as well. We create this adopted holiday menu over the winter, with dishes that are based on someone putting their hand up and saying ‘this dish means something special to me.’”
Nor should it be surprising that, growing up, the holidays for Jennifer were about the family coming together around the table. It is a love that she has carried forward with her all these years. “I bought a dining room table when I was 18, and I still have it now,” she says. “Sitting around the table with family, whether it’s extended family that you get to see on the holidays or whether it’s your nucleus—being together and sharing all those wonderful moments and creating those traditions is what this time of year is all about.” Naturally, Jennifer’s holiday traditions all involved food. Whether it was cutting down a tree from a local farm and having hot chocolate afterwards, or watching the Santa Claus Parade from the window of a local restaurant, for her it’s all about getting around a table with people.
What’s Jennifer’s favourite holiday dish? “I can’t have a holiday without my sweet potato pie—” She pauses, and laughs. “I just heard my people on the other side of my office door here agree with me on that one.”
For more information on Cachet Supper Club and its holiday events, visit their website at www.cachetsupperclub.ca.
Cachet Supper Club
500 Water St.,
Newmarket, ON L3Y 1M5
Story by Katherine Ryalen