Take Care of Each Other, Spotlight: Leo Tsangarakis, Co-Founder of The Burnt Tongue

As a part of our Take Care of Each Other initiative, we’re sharing the stories of our local restaurants involved in preparing fresh produce and meals for delivery to our Neighbour-to-Neighbour food bank and frontline workers at St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton.

This week, we interviewed Leo Tsangarakis, co-founder of The Burnt Tongue popular restaurants in Hamilton, with a local cult following. Leo and the team have been hustling to get hundreds of containers of homemade soup out as a part of our Take Care of Each Other deliveries. By the end of this initiative, Orbis will have purchased 400 containers of delicious soup from his team, which means his team will have prepared (you guessed it) 400 containers of soup – on top of their other orders. That, my friends, is no small feat.

Our team is grateful to everyone involved in this initiative. It’s bringing us all closer together in our collective effort to give back. Here’s a quick glimpse into The Burnt Tongue’s experience in the wake of COVID-19 and why Take Care of Each Other has been meaningful to their team.

Q: What brought you (and The Burnt Tongue) to Hamilton?

A: The whole team met and currently lives in Hamilton. Some of us have been in Hamilton all our lives. We went to school together, at McMaster University, worked together in other restaurants, and we knew we wanted to make our mark on the city that has done so much for us as people.


Q: Since COVID-19, how has your business pivoted to adapt to our current environment?

A: Our business was going through an expansion before COVID-19 hit. A lot of the investments we were making into our expansion translated really well to a home delivery service. We saw the need for this service a couple of days before the state of emergency was announced and we pivoted quickly. We now offer our soups in 1.5-liter bags on our e-commerce site and deliver each of the orders ourselves. We are so grateful for the community’s support throughout all of this.


Q: If you could choose one word to describe the Hamilton community, what would it be?

A: Home


Q: Over the course of the next 5 weeks, you will be producing 400 containers of soup for the Take Care of Each Other initiative. What does this demand from your team? Why is this meaningful to you?

A: The demand is not a factor for us. We do not see it as a demand, but as a duty to our community. It is important for people to have options for healthy delicious meals delivered to their doors in a safe way. We are honoured to do the job.


Q: It’s a challenging time for everyone globally, but we are seeing ingenuity from small businesses across the city. What has been your greatest takeaway from this time?

A: People are caring, strong, and resilient. It is absolutely amazing how local businesses have not only adapted themselves for these times but have also found the ability to assist other businesses at the same time. The warm reception from our community has magnified our sense of belonging and purpose to this city.