Sheer Rocks owner goes on unique 10k run for staff during coronavirus pandemic

Stifling humidity and temperatures forecast to top 30 degrees Celsius are not enough to deter one big-hearted restaurateur from running 10km of Antigua’s west coast – dressed as a giant pineapple. Alex Grimley will don the padded suit on Saturday for the sponsored event to raise cash for furloughed staff. Organisers of the madcap Antigua Pineapple 10K Solo Run hope to encourage other business owners to follow suit and step up to the challenge.
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By Neto Baptiste

One employer is going the extra mile, literally, for employers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Alex Grimley, head chef and owner of the popular Sheer Rocks Restaurant, in an effort to raise funds for laid off employees, will be hosting a 10k run from Old Road to Jolly Harbour on Saturday morning — a run he will be doing in a pineapple suit.

“On Saturday morning, at 7 am, we are going to start appropriately in a pineapple suit at the gates of the Cades Bay Pineapple Farm. Then we are going to be heading north along the main road, through the village and past Turners Beach, Darkwood Beach, and then when we get to Ffryes we are going to cut down and do a circuit of Ffryes and Small Ffryes, passing Sheer Rocks, which is one of our restaurants. We then go back onto the main road, into Jolly Harbour and we finish in the Mega Yacht dock. So anyone who wants to, join along the route to sort of cheer us on,” he said.

Grimley, who also owns Catherine’s Café, said that although they are in the process of rehiring some staff, there is still a great need for assistance.

“We had to layoff, obviously, when they all closed. We are slowly starting to rehire but we have been trying to raise funds, doing a food bank every two weeks for our teams and we have done two so far and there is another one next week, and they are going to continue for as long as they need to. We’ve had great support from the public, our friends and family, and guests of the restaurants,” he said.

Asked why he chose to run in a pineapple costume, Grimley said he was simply responding to a challenge.

“It actually wasn’t my idea. There is a lovely lady in Jolly Harbour who saw me running one day and she was aware we had done a fundraiser, Rocks Group Tea, already and on Facebook she challenged me and she said to start a pineapple 10k run in a pineapple costume, and do I want to be the first runner to raise extra funds for staff… and I immediately said yes without giving it any thought and then obviously, started thinking about it afterwards,” he said.

Since coming to Antigua many years ago to work at Carlisle Bay, Grimley has consistently sought to create original food and raise the food service bar in the country. 

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