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GURU Organic Energy Corp. (TSX: GURU) (“GURU” or the “Company”), Canada’s leading organic energy drink brand, has been making the most of the Canadian summertime, leading a nationwide community clean-up initiative. From Halifax to Vancouver, the GURU Good Crew, created specifically for the occasion, has been giving back to nature and the environment. From riverbanks to skateparks, to hiking and bike trails, the GURU Good Crew has been hard at work collecting litter and giving a shiny new look to the sites that make summer worth waiting for.

“Getting closer to nature is a sure way to connect to your own, true nature, and that’s why we are committed to cleaning up our incredible landscape from coast to coast – places we go to recharge and re-energize. We’re proud of what we have accomplished to date and look forward to tackling over 25 additional sites Canada-wide in the next two months,” said Carl Goyette, President and Chief Executive Officer of GURU.

Having already completed over 50% of its ambitious objective of hosting close to 60 clean-ups across the country’s top cities and outdoor playgrounds between June and September, the GURU Good Crew is on a roll, with teams deployed over five sites in British Columbia, six in Alberta, 13 in Ontario, eight in Québec, and two more locations in Atlantic Canada. Another 25 clean-ups are expected to take place by the fall in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver on July 28 and September 26, and at the Port de Québec on September 18.

As public health measures continue to ease across the country, now is the time to come together to enjoy the great outdoors. With World Nature Conservation Day on July 28, GURU is encouraging Canadians to participate in upcoming events to be held at Sunset Beach Trail and George Wainborn Park in Vancouver, Bow River Pathway in Calgary, Lower Don Trail in Toronto and Long Lake Park Reserve Loop Trail in Halifax. It’s your time to shine and to play your part in cleaning up the places that make your summer dreams come to life, with GURU by your side.

Delivering good energy to frontline workers
In parallel to GURU’s commitment to cleaning up the Canadian landscape, teams across the country have been actively supporting frontline workers throughout the summer. In May and June, over 35,000 cans of GURU were donated to frontline workers, including healthcare workers, first responders, and COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinic staff.

 
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Outdoor dining is back from coast-to-coast, but many local restaurants are struggling to ensure customers know their patios are now open. To help vocalize their reopening, Heinz announced today it will be donating $100,000 in free digital advertising to help independent restaurants promote their patios this summer.

Heinz will select 100 operators across the country, each of which will receive $1,000 in free digital advertising.

"It's no secret restaurants have been hit hard by the lockdowns, struggling to keep their doors open. Now that summer is here and outdoor dining is open, they need to maximize sales during this period. That's where Heinz can help," said Lucy Abbruzzese, Director, Food Service Marketing, Kraft Heinz Canada. "As the iconic condiment with a place on every patio, we are thrilled to help boost some of our country's local favourites to help them maximize summer and own patio season."

Restaurant owners are invited to sign up for a chance to win $1,000 worth of digital advertising courtesy of Heinz. This will include social ads featuring patios to drive traffic to operators. To sign up for a chance to win, please visit HeinzPatioPicks.ca. Entries will be accepted beginning today through August 2, 2021 at 11:59pm. Winners will be contacted August 5, 2021, Quebec restaurant locations are excluded from entry.

 
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Redberry today announces a new multi-year development agreement with Taco Bell Canada following Redberry’s agreement to acquire 14 Taco Bell locations across Ontario. Redberry intends to develop 50 Taco Bell restaurants in Canada over the next few years supporting Taco Bell’s plans to expand its footprint across the country.

Redberry Restaurants, one of the largest and fastest growing quick-service restaurant franchisees in Canada with 135 restaurants across four provinces, will acquire Taco Bell restaurants in Brantford, Guelph, Hamilton, Hannon, Kitchener, London, Mississauga, Saint Thomas and Toronto.

“We are thrilled to be joining the Taco Bell family and expanding our portfolio of Redberry Restaurants across Canada,” said Ken Otto, CEO, Redberry Restaurants. “The entrepreneurial, ambitious spirit of the Redberry team aligns very well with the fun and youthful Taco Bell brand loved by all generations, and together, we look forward to exemplifying the essence of ‘Live Mas’.”

The new partnership comes on the heels of a year of growth for Taco Bell Canada, following the recent launch of a new online ordering platform on tacobell.ca and the expansion of delivery options through DoorDash and Uber Eats for Taco Bell customers across Canada.

“We are excited to welcome Redberry Restaurants into the growing Taco Bell family of franchisees, partners and team members to help bring an unmatched customer experience to our fans,” said Matthew Shaw, General Manager, Taco Bell Canada. “Redberry’s franchise and business expertise will be a great addition as we continue to grow the Taco Bell brand in Canada and get our favourite menu items into the hands of more Canadians!”

Customers can order all their Taco Bell favourites, including Tacos, Crunchwraps and Fries Supreme, from each of the 14 newly managed locations, or any other Taco Bell Canada restaurants for delivery and pick-up through www.tacobell.ca or via Uber Eats and DoorDash.

 
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Carbone Restaurant Group Ltd. ("CRG" or the "Company"), a leading Winnipeg-based omni-channel franchise restaurant group announced today that it has successfully closed $2.5 million in financing.

CRG intends to leverage technology and data to introduce disruptive changes to the restaurant industry through the rapid scale-up of its ghost kitchen brands, bricks and mortar franchises and robotics concepts. The Company plans to open more than 100 kitchens and restaurant franchises over the next several years.

"We are bringing game-changing concepts and technology into the restaurant industry," said Benjamin Nasberg, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CRG. "This strategic investment will allow us to take CRG to new heights and capitalize on our business development plans."

The financing comes on the heels of CRG securing new development and franchising partners across Canada for the Company's flagship "FAST FIRED by Carbone" Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) pizza franchise concept. Additionally, CRG is on the cusp of launching several ghost kitchen brands that the Company expects will allow it to scale its business rapidly. CRG has also partnered with a high-tech global innovator to introduce pizza-making robots into the marketplace.

"We are delighted with the results for CRG as demonstrated by the strong reception from investors," said Kia Besharat, Senior Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets Origination at Gravitas Securities Inc. "Benjamin and the CRG management team are innovative, forward thinking and motivated, and investors were quick to understand CRG's value proposition as they now look to the next stages of growth. These are changing times and CRG is right on the cusp of that change."

 
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As Ontario gears up to reopen this summer, the Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA) will be leading a dynamic recovery program aimed at supporting local businesses along the food tourism value chain and encouraging hyperlocal travel within the province.

The program is complemented by a strategic, collaborative marketing campaign entitled "The Great Taste of Ontario," that brings together over 90 DMOs from across Ontario working in partnership with sector organizations, provincial organizations, media, charities with a focus on food security and industry representatives under one common goal.  This effort has been made possible thanks to an investment from the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), with support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

"Now more than ever, Ontarians are looking to reconnect—to people, places and our great tastes! This program helps inspire Ontarians with their travel plans while reinforcing the importance of supporting our farmers, food and beverage producers and the thousands of businesses that showcase their tastes. Explore the passports and download for your stay in Ontario and play plans!" says Rebecca Mackenzie, President and CEO of the Culinary Tourism Alliance.

"The Great Taste of Ontario is an exciting and dynamic campaign that means Ontarians will not only have the opportunity to discover new tastes and culinary delights, but will also play an integral role in helping to rebuild the tourism industry in Ontario and support our regions farmers and food and drink producers. I urge all Ontarians to take advantage of the passports and immerse themselves in what our incredible province has to offer," said Christopher Bloore, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario.

"Our government is proud to support the Great Taste of Ontario, as it helps some of the most impacted sectors bounce back. This initiative will stimulate local tourism and encourage more residents to reconnect with their local restaurants, shops and tourism experiences, all while protecting jobs and creating new opportunities for the province. As per our plan for a strong economic recovery, we will continue to invest in our key industries, including tourism, which are essential to the vitality of our regions, " says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible FedDev Ontario.

Building back the food, tourism and hospitality sectors

The Great Taste of Ontario is centered around a collection of hyperlocal destination passports created by destination partners, that will inspire Ontario residents to discover—or rediscover—their province and explore local businesses in the region. Designed to boost regional economies by increasing tourism visits and promoting sustainable food and drink-focused travel in a pandemic-friendly way, the program supports over 1,000 small- to medium-sized enterprises across Ontario, with more businesses added each season. 

Travellers are encouraged to download the passport for their region and check-in when visiting participating businesses. Check-ins can be redeemed for Ontario made prizes or donated as cash to partner charities—FoodShare or Second Harvest—with a focus on food security. A collection of Ontario-centric playlists featuring all-Ontario artists has also been curated to officially make this the year of the road trip!

Exploring closer to home

Border closures and limited international travel have resulted in an increased intent in local, domestic travel. Road trips and extended staycations will be the most popular vacations this summer with many travellers actively seeking out unique and immersive experiences centred around local food and drink. Rural, off-the-beaten-track experiences, as well as hiking, biking, watersports and other adventure-based trips will also top the list as consumers look for ways to immerse themselves more into the outdoors. The CTA hopes to keep momentum for this interest by providing local travellers with a deeper connection to the culinary tourism value chain through ongoing initiatives such as The Great Taste of Ontario.

As the province moves ahead with its phased reopening, and businesses and local communities prepare to welcome back visitors in anticipation of a busy summer, the CTA will continue to share stories from Ontario's diverse foodie destinations and connect Ontarians and visitors to the unique experiences Ontario has to offer.

 

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