Ottawa ice cream shop raises price to pay employees living wage
If you purchased pint of ice cream from Moo Shu, you may have noticed a price jump.
A pint at the popular Bank Street ice cream parlor has increased to $15 from $12.
Owner Liz Mok points to inflation rates and the rising cost of ingredients.
“Both small businesses and workers are feeling that same squeeze. We couldn’t budget our way out of it.”
The shop also recently committed to providing employees a living wage, offering $18.60 an hour. That number is based on the Ontario Living Wage Network’s calculation.
That’s an income it says is better suited amid the escalating cost of food, clothes, shelter, transportation, child care, medical care, recreation and more.
“Income is not keeping up to pace with the cost of living and you can’t pizza party your way out of that,” said Mok.
That increase means the customer pays a few extra dollars for a scoop of ice cream to offset the difference.
“I would pay a little more to know that people are getting a boost to their wage,” said one customer.
“We live here, we work here, and making sure others can do the same is all part of the importance of it,” said another.
The Ontario minimum wage is currently $15 an hour, which some staff say it isn’t enough. And that extra $3.60 goes a long way.
“For a lot of people, it means the difference between being able to save and just being able get by,” said Moo Shu employee Laura Stevens-Dagg.
Mok said she would like to see more businesses doing the same, to help workers who have been hit hard these last two years.
“Wages still need to go up, it’s just so matter of fact at this point that people, no matter how much they like working at a place if they’re not paid enough to live, how can you justify anybody staying in this career, in this industry?”