A community in Leslieville is quite literally putting their money where their mouth is. 

Local guests of Chef Charlie Crothall's Back of House restaurant on Carlaw are rallying to keep Crothall from having to hang up his apron due to financial difficulties.

Crothall knows how to cook great food. Back of House opened last year and was quickly voted Toronto's number one hidden gem restaurant. But, being new to business he was not prepared for the demand or the cost. 

He dealt with headaches such as heating the converted-garage location and wasted food due to broken refrigerators. 

"My budget was laughable," Crothall said.

Now, his customers are chipping in to help him stay in business. In two days, an online campaign has raised more than $2,000 and locals are offering to help with service and cleaning as well. Until now, Crothall had done it all himself. 

"Sometimes it's hard to ask for help or accept it," said online donor and customer Katie Reid. "So we've kind of said, 'We're helping you. Take it.'"

Crothall says the locals helping him out are quickly becoming good friends, and all they have asked for in exchange is a chance to keep eating his food. 

Watch the video above for the full report.

With files from CBC's Kate Adach