CANTON One common denominator that small businesses, large businesses, event coordinators and others have found with each other through the COVID-19 is the ability to draw on their creativity to come up with new ways to do business.
One recent example of that creativity is offering the annual Canton Greek Fest as a drive-thru event.
The Canton Greek Fest hosted by St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church on 25th Street in Canton is a longtime event that happens every June. It draws people from all over the county to enjoy Greek foods, live entertainment and shopping with many vendors.
"We usually hold the regular Greek Fest in June right after school gets out," said Allison Sarris, a volunteer parishioner at St. Haralambos. "We had people calling us about whether we were going to hold the event, so we figured we needed to look at doing something. Plus, it’s a big fundraiser for us. People love the food and we decided to try preparing the food fresh in our kitchen, then packing it up in to go containers and delivering it to customers while they wait in their cars."
Instead of holding the event one weekend in June, the church decided to offer the drive-thru option for three weekends with one in June, July and August. Sarris said June was successful. The volunteers made some modifications to their process and sold 100 more meals in July than they did in June.
Diners place their order online or call, then pay online or over the phone. They select their pickup time and arrive at the church. A volunteer comes out to get the name and goes back into the lobby of the church to grab the customer’s preordered meal.
The June event was on the 4, 5 and 6. July was the 16, 17 and 18. August is scheduled for 27, 28 and 29. Sarris said while the traditional menu is offered, they try to add something special for each day. Plaki (Greek fish) was on the menu as the special item on July 17.
Pick up starts at 4 p.m. on the dates in August. Visit cantongreekfest.com or call 330-454-7278 for complete details, the menu and to place orders. St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church is located at 251 25th. St. NW.
"We didn’t know what to expect when we held the first drive-thru days in June, but it has been a success and we did even better in July," Sarris said.