Why Dacyion Reid Hasn’t Let the Pandemic Scare Her

A hollowed pineapple filled with fried rice and seasoned shrimp from Dacyion Reid

2020 has been a hard year for small businesses, with safety measures like physical distancing making face-to-face transactions difficult. Many Black food entrepreneurs have looked to innovative ways to overcome this challenge, and the Interac e-Transfer platform has quickly become a saving grace.

As a low-cost and user-friendly payment platform, the Interac e-Transfer service’s popularity has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic as traditional ways of serving customers has turned on its head.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital payment solutions in Canada,” says Anurag Kar, Director, Money Movement at Interac. “Ensuring small businesses have access to fast, reliable and secure solutions is critical to maintaining business momentum, particularly as many businesses rebound from mandated closures due to COVID-19.”

Dacyion Reid's snapper and shrimp from Dacy's Gourmet Kitchen
Dacyion’s offerings combine her Jamaican heritage and classical training

“Working during the pandemic has been smooth,” says Dacyion Reid, owner and founder of Dacy’s Gourmet Kitchen in Brampton, ON. “Selling food has been a win-win for both myself and the customer based on feedback they’ve given me.” In 2018, Dacyion quit her job and enrolled in culinary school to pursue her dream.

Upon graduating earlier this year, she developed a menu that combines her Jamaican roots and classical training and started advertising her gourmet offerings like steamed snapper with autumn squash cream sauce and classic jerk chicken with festival. As the pandemic started to worsen, Dacyion had to reconsider how to accept money from her customers who were used to paying by card and cash when they picked up their orders.

“I thought, ‘How am I going to get these people to pay?’, I knew that the easiest way is get paid for the orders was to use Interac e-Transfer, where it’s just in my account,” says Dacyion. Since opening, Dacy’s Gourmet Kitchen has become a local hit, with the Interac e-Transfer platform also helping her serve her customers and develop relationships while maintaining social distancing. “Being that it’s contactless too, neither myself nor the customer have to touch the money or come in contact with funds physically. I also love the little notes customer’s leave with their transfers. It’s like the icing on the cake.”

Jerk chicken and festival in a takeout container from Dacy's Gourmet Kitchen
Succulent jerk chicken and crispy fried festival are among Dacy’s bestsellers

In addition to helping Black food entrepreneurs stay connected to their clients from a distance during this pandemic, Interac seeks to empower and support the Black community through its Equity and Empowerment Initiative.

The wide-reaching program and the brand’s commitment to innovation to meet ever-changing business and consumer needs means that products like the Interac e-Transfer service will be instrumental in ensuring that Black food businesses rise above the challenges of operating during a pandemic and will continue to delight our palates for years to come.

Learn more about Dacyion’s gourmet creations and other incredible Black food business owners here.

This article is sponsored by Interac. See how they’re empowering Ontarians to support Black-owned restaurants here.

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