“The Muraca family would like to inform everyone that we will not be serving our food this year. We definitley are going to miss all our customers, we truly enjoyed the experience of serving so many people. My greatest satisfaction was seeing the boys operating the business on their own and the pleasure we had watching people enjoy our food. As some of you know, we will be shifting our efforts towards the food trailer fabrication. Thanks to everyone.”
“We had no idea when we opened our service window November 11th 2016, that it would be our last service at 1195 Carp Road. We want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for all of the love and support we have received over the last 4 seasons. Opening the food truck was such a leap of faith, and we couldn’t have imagined it being as rewarding and successful as it has been. We lost our current spot, but thanks to you we are moving on from the food truck world and looking at locations for a year-round store front shoppe in Stittsville…. onward and up! SO, if we don’t see you in the spring, don’t fret….. there are exciting things coming up!
All our love,
YOUR local ‘Wiches”
Friday was the last day of the season for the ‘Wiches Cauldron food truck. Just before they sold out of food, owners Craig Beaudry and Monique Haugen received quite a amazing surprise from some regular customers from the Sweet Room Bakery Boutique.
The Stittsville food truck scene already has a good amount of variety. Anne Wilby (pictured above) plans to add a lot more with Mellow Yellow.
Wilby is no stranger to the food business. Growing up with an Italian father and Polish mother, her family was always cooking. In the 1980s, she ran a hospitality training program for at-risk youth in Stittsville. She was also manager of Lousiannie’s on Main Street for 14 years, before it closed and burned down. Continue reading →
GROWING LIKE A WEED: Councillor Shad Qadri told the Fairwinds Community Association last week that the city’s latest population estimates put our ward at 31,841 people in 2015, up by 857 (or 2.77%) over the previous year.
Overall, the city’s population grew by just under 1% to 960,756 residents. The fastest-growing wards were Somerset (4.19%), Gloucester-South Nepean (3.53%), and Barrhaven (2.78%). Continue reading →
Every week we get lots of comments from our readers on our web site, via email, and social media. Here’s a sample of what we heard this week. Add your thoughts to the comments at the bottom of this article or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Above: Frank Muraca and his two boys, Giovanni (left) and Dante (right) at the Muraca On Fire food truck in the Rona parking lot on Hazeldean Road. Photo by Barry Gray.)
From Italy, to the fire station, to the streets of Stittsville. Muraca On Fire owner Frank Muraca is taking his experience cooking for hungry, fearless firefighters, dropping in a fist-full of family-first Italian heritage, and turning it all into tasty, affordable street food. His sons are also getting in on the action, which includes an unreal veal sandwich. You heard us … a veal sandwich from a food truck! The Muraca On Fire trailer is at the Rona parking lot on Hazeldean Rd. This is part of our ongoing Stittsville food truck series.Continue reading →
(Above: Matthew & Ashley O’Brien, owners of the Jolly Hog. Photo by Jordan Mady.)
You’ve had a side of fries or salad, but have you ever had a side of laughter? That’s exactly what you’ll get from the new Jolly Hog food truck on Carp Road which opened on June 22. In this instalment of our continuing Stittsville food truck series, we meet the husband-and-wife combo behind the new venture. They also wanted us to inform you that they’re proud to offer Equator coffee and all-day breakfast sandwiches. Continue reading →
Spunky, determined, energetic. Those are three words we’d use to describe 44-year-old Corinne Carroll (above, photo by Jordan Mady), owner of the Culinary Meltdown food trailer in Stittsville. She sends out gourmet comfort food favourites on the daily in the form of bacon mac & cheese and caramelized onion grilled cheese sandwiches. Visit the Carp Rd. (at Rothbourne) location and you’ll have a meltdown like never before. Are you drooling yet? Check out the video at the end of the article to see how the bacon mac & cheese is made. This interview is part of our continuing series on Stittsville food trucks.
Heads up: the food truck is at the Dragonboat Festival until June 30 , but back at their usual location on Carp Road after that. They’re also at Bluesfest from July 8-19.
(ABOVE: Kathleen McConville and her son James Clarke in front of the Glen’s Tartan Kitchen food truck. Photo by Barry Gray.)
You know you’ve been in business a long time when your original customers are bringing their children to your establishment. According to The Glen president Kathleen McConville and her son James Clarke, this happens frequently. It all began with The Glen, a Scottish-themed restaurant on Hazeldean Road in Kanata. Now, find out why they’re bringing their 27-year success story to the Stittsville food truck scene.
JORDAN MADY: Who are you and what’s your involvement in The Glen Tartan Kitchen?
Kathleen McConville: I’m president of the Glen and Tartan Kitchen.
James Clarke: I’m Kathleen’s son and to-be owner.
JM: Were you born in Scotland, Kathleen?
KM: We are from Hamilton, Scotland, it’s about 20 minutes outside of Glasgow. I came over with my mom and dad in 1969 so I’ve been here a long time. But my dad was 50 when he emigrated with his wife and three children. It was a pretty bold move. We arrived in Montreal then I got married and we moved to Ottawa.
My oldest brother John (70) and his wife Luciana (67) (both part-owners), they were still in Scotland and they wanted to emigrate. Her idea was to open up kind of a little Coronation Street-type pub. It wasn’t that simple but after many, many tries, it happened. Our original plan was going to be myself serving, which I’d never done, I had to learn, John would cook and we’d hire one more server.
Twenty-seven years later, we have 50 employees. We’ve learned everything as we go along and we’re very fortunate to have two children … my son James is the oldest and he’s taken to it like … unbelievably. It’s a very hard thing to do and he loves it. I can see the passion. I know where it comes from. It’s like watching myself 27 years ago.
JM: How did you decide to start a food truck?
JC: It’s actually funny how it all started. Before the whole trend kind of blew up, my mom and I always talked about “wow, there’s no one doing fish ‘n chips”. We kind of thought it would be cool to take our product on the road … we’ve got a lot of customers that drive from Orleans, Perth, we’ve got Brockville, and they’re always saying ‘it would be great if we could get your product in other places’ so that’s kind of how the ball got rolling on it. One of the big things we wanted to do was more events. And so this year, we’re doing six weddings, a lot of private functions … it’s cool, like, it’s not just fish n’ chips.
JM: How did you become situated in the Rona parking lot?
JC: We did shop around quite a few places. Nothing seemed to fit, or we couldn’t agree on numbers. Nothing bad blood. And then I spoke with Bobby (owner of Rona) and he had just taken over the Rona at the time and said “I’d love to have a good business I can partner with and represent each other.”
KM: So Bobby (owner of Rona) and his father and the family, they’ve been coming to the Glen since he was very, very young. They know our ethics, we know their ethics.
JM: How is the Tartan Kitchen different from the other food trucks in Stittsville?
JC: With the food truck here and where we’re located at Rona, because we are so close to the restaurant, we wanted to be a little bit different. So this year we have our fish ‘n chips, but we’ve broadened our menu a little bit. Based on last year having a lot of requests and also we thought “How can we be different? There’s a lot of food trucks in Stittsville”. We sat down and we said “nobody’s doing breakfast so let’s try to tackle that”. We do offer all-day breakfast on the truck.
JM: Are there any plans for expansion?
JC: We would almost like to have Ottawa’s first outdoor food court. So we’d like to have all different kinds of food trucks so people can come here and try a little bit of everything, and try to make it an event.
(They say they’re also looking to acquire more trucks and mobility.)
JM: Are there any plans for Kathleen to completely hand over operations to James?
JC: No way. Yeah, right. These guys will never give it up. No, that’s the plan. But it’s tough, too, because in fairness, when they’re not there for a few days, everyone’s like “where are they?! Where are they?!” So, I don’t think it’s fair to say they’ll ever be hands-off because I think they don’t need to do any more of the heavy lifting. But they’re just so entrenched in what The Glen is. When people come in and it’s their kids’ kids, and it’s third-generation customers, it really says something.
JM:Is there anything you would like to say to the Stittsville community?
JC: I think the first thing would be ‘thank you’. We know how hard it is to make a dollar and the fact that they come in and spend their hard-earned dollars, and want to spend their personal time with us, is the ultimate compliment. We don’t take it for granted.
(Above: Monique Haugen and Craig Beaudry from The Wiches Cauldron. Photo by Jordan Mady.)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Stittsville’s The ‘Wiches Cauldron is in its third season and business is bubbling. In this issue, the first in a series about Stittsville food trucks, you’ll meet the married, university-educated duo behind the delicious sorcery. The couple pumps out sandwiches and soups on the daily, and they’re constantly brewing up something new. Visit them at their Carp Rd. location just south of Hazeldean Road and you’ll find yourself wanting to be friends with them instantly.)Continue reading →