Boiling Over takes a month to decide how to fully react to minimum wage increase

By Roderick Benns

Lindsay: The kindest town around
Laura Lemiere, right, with employee, Angel, left, at Boiling Over's Coffee Vault.

Boiling Over’s Coffee Vault, the popular independent coffee shop at Kent and Cambridge Streets in Lindsay, is taking a month to decide how it will fully react to a huge increase in the minimum wage.

Laura LeMiere, manager of the 2.5-year-old Boiling Over, says they want to “wait and see” how things unfold, especially the costs that are within their supply chain, before they start raising prices for customers.

For instance, the business gets all their coffee from a small, independent coffee company in Creemore, Ontario.

“We don’t know yet how they’re responding, for instance, so we’ll hold on for now” to see if they increase their costs.

Boiling Over is owned by two Lindsay business men, Jamie Bergin and James Myette, and managed by LeMiere.

The business is already “looking for ways to save” on the various products they need to have in the store, like cups.

LeMiere, echoing the owner of the Olympia Restaurant, Nicki Dedes, says she believes the minimum wage increase was “too quick” and too high for small businesses to make the leap overnight on Jan. 1.

“Will we have to increase prices? We’re not sure yet so we’re trying to take our time with this,” says the manager.

LeMiere says she “agrees with the need for a living wage” for people, as someone who has worked for minimum wage in the past.

Boiling Over always cuts back on staff hours in January, anyway, and this mandatory wage increase has meant they will be cutting “a little deeper.”

“The team is receptive to that. They understand,” she says. “Everyone knows we’re doing our best.”

Minimum wage increased on Jan. 1 from $11.60 to $14 an hour. Next year, it will jump to $15 an hour before being tied to inflation after that.

James Mulhern, president of the Lindsay and District Labour Council, has told The Lindsay Advocate that minimum wage “should never have been frozen in the first place and then it wouldn’t have had to rise so fast to ensure people are okay.”

Between 1996 and 2003, the general minimum wage in Ontario was frozen at $6.85 per hour by the government of then-Premier Mike Harris. For seven straight years there was no increase at all.


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