Our Grille: aiming to give back to the community that supports them

GWINN/K.I. SAWYER — April 29th to May 5th is recognized as National Small Business Week. We reached out to our viewers on Facebook and asked what were their favorite small businesses that not only served their customers, but the community as well. (To throw in your suggestions, click HERE.)

Here is the first of five small businesses our viewers suggested that we highlight.

Our Grille was a dream come true for Renee Rushlow and Michelle Ford-Thompson. The ’50’s dinner-inspired restaurant and bakery in K.I. Sawyer opened its doors in July of 2017, and they pride themselves on serving up homemade dishes and sweet treats made from scratch.

“The stuff that you used to get at Grandma’s on Sundays is the feeling that we want you to have when you come here,” said Ford-Thompson. “We want you to feel full when you leave here. If you leave here hungry, we would like it to be your fault, not ours.”

Our Grille favorites include their hamburgers, made with fresh ground meat, and 14-inch calzones that can feed two, or one extremely hungry individual.

The small business doesn’t just strive to feed the K.I. and Gwinn communities – the owners say they use Our Grille to give back to their community as well.

“I’ve lived here almost 20 years. Renee has lived here the majority of her life, so we have strong ties to this community. There’s just a definite need for restaurants, small-businesses, those types of things, and this is what we do,” said Ford-Thompson. “It’s important for us to give back what we can.”

Our Grille has hosted free Thanksgiving and Christmas Community Dinners for those without others to spend the holidays with. Any donations that were collected at the Thanksgiving dinner went to food pantries at St. Vincent de Paul and Gwinn Methodist Church. At Christmas time, the business adopted a family, and their donations from the Christmas dinner went towards the family.

The restaurant also hosts kids events, including an upcoming event for Mother’s Day, where kids will decorate cupcake bouquets.

Speaking of the future, Our Grille is expanding to a new location across the street from Gwinn High School.

“Because the community has supported us so much, that has allowed us to expand our business,” said Ford-Thompson.

Our Grille will be settled at the new location on June 1st. They hope to serve breakfast every day of the week, not just the weekends, and expand the baking operation to include breads and bagels.

To learn more about Our Grille, located at 301 Avenue A, click HERE to visit their Facebook page.