Borealis Grille & Bar

Promoting Local Farm Fresh Foods

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Maya Bryce

Maya Bryce



Allison Silver

Allison Silver

Philip Vranic

Philip Vranic

Garrett Vanderwyst

Garrett Vanderwyst


University of Guelph

University of Guelph


Ruben Burga

Ruben Burga

Global Goals

3. Good Health and Well-Being 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

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As part of the Borealis business objectives and value proposition, Borealis checks all necessary boxes to be considered “Innovation Eligible”. Borealis achieves multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals. It has generated a profit through socially responsible actions that are embedded as part of its normal operations. Finally, Borealis Grille & Bar has developed a business model based on sustainable goals and practices that are scalable into other markets.


  • WHAT is the innovation?

    • Using a “buy-local” approach to produce higher quality products that is more cost efficient, safer, and tastes better (Desautels, 2008).

  • HOW did the innovation emerge?

    • From a desire to be the food service industry leader in sustainability (Desautels, n.d.).

  • WHO was involved in the creation of the innovation? What did they do?

    • Bob Desautels, he established the goal and built the business around that core value (Desautels, n.d.)

  • DOES the innovation relate to a sense of mission, purpose or meaning?

    • Yes

  • If so, HOW?

    • Borealis has the mission to be sustainable and to be entirely local by serving food and beverages that are from Ontario.

Promoting Local Farm Fresh Foods


  • HOW did the original idea come about?

    • By being inspired by the Moody Blues’ album and realizing that we are really just borrowing this world from our children (Desautels, n.d.).

  • WHAT was the motivation or purpose for doing the innovation?

    • To operate local restaurants in a sustainable fashion, so that our children’s children’s children have a planet to live on (Desautels, n.d.).

Overall impact

  • WHAT was the impact of the innovation on the business?

    • Borealis was driven to design and build its entire restaurant and business model on local resources and supply chains (Desautels, n.d.).

  • WHAT was the impact of the innovation on society?

    • Local farmers and businesses benefit from a business partnership with Borealis, while Borealis reduces its carbon footprint by staying local (Desautels, n.d.).

  • WHAT was the impact of the innovation on the environment?

    • The carbon footprint and annual waste left by Borealis is greatly reduced (Desautels, n.d.).

  • WHAT were the short-term effects? What were the long-term effects?

    • Short: Borealis created business for local farmers and craftsmen (Desautels, n.d.).

    • Long: Borealis reduced the environmental impact it will have in the future by sticking to local supply chains from the start. Meaning no food will need to be shipped over long distances (Desautels, n.d.).

  • WHAT concrete evidence suggests that this impact has occurred?

    • The entire restaurant and its menu were created from resources and materials found in the local area, meaning no supplies needed to be transported over long distances (Desautels, n.d.).

Business benefit

With more and more people focusing on corporate social responsibility, a firm’s success depends upon how ethical and socially responsible it is (Werther, Chandler, 2015, pp. 21-24). Consumers want a company they can trust to make good decisions for their community, and Borealis does that quite well. By trying to be as sustainable as possible, using local ingredients in their food as well as trying to reduce their carbon footprint, Borealis demonstrates consideration for the environment and community (Desautels, 2008). Reducing the amount of wasteful products and reusing what they can reduces the operating costs benefiting the community as well as the organization. These green practices also attract a lot of customers who are looking for better, more environmentally aware companies where they can spend their money and feel good about doing so (Werther, Chandler, 2015, p. 29, 32).

Social and environmental benefit

Borealis’ business model makes it possible for them to have good sustainability. There are benefits for society in that they support local farms by only using local ingredients, as well as supporting local heritage in their building designs (Desautels, 2008). There are also benefits to the environment as they are trying to limit the amount of pollution they put out into their community by reducing waste, reusing materials and recycling what they can (Desautels, 2008).


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Business information

Borealis Grille & Bar

Borealis Grille & Bar

Guelph, ON, CA
Business Website:
Year Founded: 2008
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
Borealis Grille & Bar is a mid to high price range restaurant located near the south end of Guelph, Ontario. On their website, Borealis clearly defines its 3 core values: They aim to provide quality products and add value to their local community (Desautels, 2008). “1) Local: Promote and serve locally sourced Ontario quality foods and beverages. That’s ‘The Taste of Ontario’!” (Desautels, 2008) Borealis represents and celebrates its heritage in all possible aspects of the business. From design and layout, to service and menu choices, Borealis honours the craftsmanship involved in its local heritage (Desautels, 2008). “2) Building Heritage: Respect and restore our local natural heritage in the building plans, construction and interior craftsmanship and design of all of our restaurants.” (Desautels, 2008) Finally, Borealis leverages its core competence as a food service business that specializes in sustainability. The corporate culture, best practices, and business decisions relate back to maximizing corporate social responsibility (Desautels, 2008). “3) Sustainability: To work in an environmentally sustainable manner in all aspects of our operations with a focus and dedication to continually reducing our "carbon footprint”. Our goal is simple: to be the foodservice industry leader in sustainability.” (Desautels, 2008)