Sunflower Food Truck

How the Sunflower food truck moved into the Gorge Harbour General store

The Sunflower food truck opened beside Whaletown road last summer, when the pandemic seemed to be fading away and the whole province was coming out of self isolation

Selling 30 of these a day, plus a lot of other favourites – photo courtesy Carie Taylor

An okay time to try

Owner manager Carie Taylor explains, “There were tourists, so it seemed like an okay time to try to open up. There were enough people around”

She perceives her business as the response to a need. There wasn’t a place for people to meet their friends and socialize – especially in Whaletown, where she and her husband have been living for the past four and a half years. 

The Sunflower food truck

“I looked at a few options, like renting out the Gorge Hall, but that wasn’t going to work out. So I thought what about a food truck?” 

When a taco truck started up, Taylor asked if they would mind sharing the space. 

They found the idea delightful. 

 Taylor found her food truck on Facebook Marketplace. 

It was in operation for two months before she was forced to close down for the winter. 

Inside the Sunflower Food Truck
Inside the food track – courtesy Carie Taylor

Moving into the Gorge Harbour General Store

In the meantime, she started formulating a back-up plan with Bill Dougan and Tammy Allwork from the Gorge Harbour General store

“I was providing a service to the Island that I didn’t want to stop … Also, this is the first winter that I’ve been on Cortes – I usually go somewhere warmer. I wanted to keep busy. Bill and Tammy and I came up with a plan, just sell the food out of the store,” she said.

Taylor cooks her food at the Floathouse restaurant, when it isn’t in operation. while this only takes one day a week, she spends the rest of her time shopping for supplies and making preparations.   

“It turns out to be full time, mostly full time” she said.

“Right now we do sausage rolls, veggie rolls and pizza spirals. All those are served hot. I do some soup. Some of the meals are very home style, home cooking kinds of things. There are some international dishes, like butter chicken, sweet and sour pork. Then there are things that are more recognizable, like glazed meatloaf, lasagna and I’m going to start adding some new items like a white chicken lasagna. Very comforting, wintery, foods. ” 

Prepared foods available through the Gorge Harbour General Store – courtesy Carie Taylor

Behind the scenes

While Carie works in the kitchen, her husband takes care of the administrative side of the Sunflower.  

She started out working in her parent’s restaurant when she was 13.

“I did everything from washing dishes to bussing tables and prepping a lot of the food in the kitchen. My parents had another restaurant when I was an adult and I helped run that. In between being a kid and an adult, I had a couple of my own places. One in Mexico, one in Guatemala and then one in Toronto,” Taylor explained.

“I’ve always done this kind of thing.”    

A Sunflower thanksgiving – courtesy Carie Taylor

Links of Interest

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative

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