Women in Business Profile: Shelly Hardaker, Smitty’s Restaurant

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Shelly Hardaker and her family have made the City Of Kawartha Lakes home for 16 years.

A food services industry veteran, she worked for the previous Smitty’s owners before purchasing it from them three years ago.

Shelly has also worked in the dental industry while also taking Economics and Business Management courses. But it’s the “people, food and the ever-changing environment” that keep her coming back. “It’s a go, go, go industry.”

Known for “keeping it local” when it comes to food sourcing, Shelly says it’s important to “support those who support you.” Since the Smitty’s Franchise allows her to offer alternate menus along with the core menu, she is able to use locally-sourced products for specials.

“It’s a way of achieving creativity and diversity with food.”

The franchise owner also takes a leading role when it comes to environmental matters at her restaurant. Smitty’s has embraced compostable take-away containers, even though they are far more expensive than Styrofoam. As well, the straws they use look like plastic but actually break down completely in 36 months with no harm done to the environment.

Shelly says it’s her children that keep her motivated and inspired at work. “Truth be told, I love my business. It keeps me physically and mentally challenged each and every day. I am very fortunate to have such amazing people, both my staff and customers.”

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