(Photo by Devyn Barrie.)
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.
In recent years, she’s owned Italian restaurant Casa Di Zia Mia in Richmond. Every food truck has a particular style of food. Whether it’s the traditional Mexican dishes of Bonita’s Cantina, the Italian offerings of Muraca on Fire or the sandwich sorcery of ‘Wiches Cauldron. What’s the style for Mellow Yellow?
“The whole idea behind it is ‘mellow yellow, stay cool’… kind of a sixties groove surfer thing.” Wilby said. “It melds the flavours of the fresh Mexican food with the California food.”
At the moment, she’s experimenting with different foods to see what people like and what sells best. It’s a diverse offering. There are mainstays like hamburgers and poutine, all the way to tacos and pulled pork sandwiches. All of them homemade, from scratch.
“I think when you’re a cook, you like to experiment… when you stop experimenting, then you shouldn’t be in the business.”
It’s been open in the parking lot of the Stittsville Legion for a few weeks, getting a steady stream of customers. The plan is to stay put, as long as the Legion will have her.
Long-term, she hopes to wind down her restaurant business and focus on the food truck, as it gives her more flexibility and lower overhead.
“I have seven grandchildren and not enough time to spend with them,” said Wilby. “So I would eventually like to give up the restaurant business… [the food truck] allows me to have nights and weekends with my grandchildren.”
A larger customer base is one reason why Wilby chose to open shop in Stittsville. Another is because she loves the people here.
“I just wanted to come back to Stittsville, I really liked the people there, and I missed everybody from Lousiannie’s… it’s nice to be back in Stittsville.”
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