WINNIPEG —; Bill Fugler said the only grease that gets washed down his sink is the residue on the knife used to spread mayonnaise on his sandwiches. But the city has told the owner of The Neighbourhood Cafe in Wolseley that he has to install a grease tap. Fugler worries the cost will have a huge impact on his business.
“The plumbers said we’ll install it, but then you’ll have to rebuild the wall, rebuild the sink,” said Fugler. “We’re looking at being closed for several days.”
Fugler said the city wouldn’t consider an exemption unless he got rid of all his dishes and switched to disposables, which he wasn’t willing to do. Members of the community who go to the cafe offered donations to install the grease trap, but Fugler plans to continue fighting.
“I would much rather that money went somewhere useful,” he said.
Cafe D’Amour on Osborne serves similar items and said they do collect grease at the end of the every month.
“There is quite a bit of collection when we do clean it out,” said Sharla May, one of the owners. “But it’s not a lot compared to larger kitchens that have larger equipment.”
May said she only disposes of the waste once a month, but things like coffee oils, milk residue and even washing her hands builds up in the trap. The small business owner said she does understand the difficulties of budgeting big ticket expenses.
“It’s difficult. The idea of closing down for a week or even a few days, seems astronomical,” said May.
City Councillor for Wolseley, Cindy Gilroy, called the cafe a gem in community and hopes there can be a resolution.
“We are doing whatever we can to make sure we are supporting local businesses,” said Gilroy. “I know it is a strain.”
The city refused our request to discuss the case, Fugler appears in court on Thursday.