A dole of his own: Mystic Muffin offers its own stimulus package

A dole of his own: Mystic Muffin offers its own stimulus package

Elias Makhoul stimulates as he pontificates (Photo by Chloe Ellingson)

We didn’t think it was possible, but Mystic Muffin just got a little quirkier. Now, in addition to doling out his famed apple cake, falafel and political opinions (muffins take a back seat), owner Elias Makhoul is giving us extra reasons to adore his Jarvis and Richmond eatery: he’s picking up the tab. Makhoul is responding to dismal sales by implementing two policies for regulars who are out of work:

1. The Stimulus Package: free meals if you’re unemployed, or free apple cake if you bring your lunch from home.

2. Recession Readiness Course: free cooking classes for those who can no longer afford to eat out.

“It’s not just about helping my business,” Makhoul says. “My customers have given me so much over the years, now it’s my turn to give back.” To his surprise, his policies’ effects extend beyond generating lines at the sandwich counter—the Toronto media is all over it. As one patron said during our recent talk with Makhoul, “Are you doing another interview? Man of the hour!” He was referring to the slew of reporters that flooded the lunchtime hot spot last week—a CBC reporter on Monday, followed by CTV and CP24 on Tuesday. Altruism is alive and well in tough times after all.

• Downtown restaurant offering financial relief to those out of a job [CP24]