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August 8, 2022
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Painting swapped in 70s for grilled cheese sandwich serves up windfall

Painting by Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis traded for a meal at Irene and Tony Demas’s restaurant could fetch C$35,000

Working out of the kitchen of their small restaurant in Ontario in the 1970s, Irene Demas and her husband Tony soon learned the value of trading their dishes for the talents of local bakers, craftspeople and artisans.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” said Irene, at the time a bright-eyed chef in her 20s. In exchange for daily fresh flowers, for example, the couple would take soup and a sandwich to the florist next door.

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