Street food goes mainstream in Cornwall

Street food goes mainstream in Cornwall
Yves Menard and his daughter Courtney Sawatis in front of their new business on Vincent Massey Drive

CORNWALL, Ontario - Yves Menard's kitchen is the same as just about any other in the city.

Oven - check. Grill - check. Pots and pans - check.

The difference is his kitchen also comes with four wheels and a windshield.

The co-owner of Chef in a Bun, the city's newest eatery, has brought the concept of street food to the city with his new operation that is contained within a converted bus.

But he's quick to point out, this is no chip truck.

“The fastest growing market right now seems to be street food,” said Menard, who along with his daughter Courtney Sawatis, opened Chef in a Bun about a week ago. “We're a food truck.”

Foodies are likely familiar with the concept of street food: high-end products that may cost a little more than your typical burger wagon, but also bring added flavour and specialties to the table.

“We were smoking a pulled pork, and a beef brisket,” said Menard, adding chilli and other a-typical fare is on the menu. “We like to use a lot of spices, and a lot of flavour.”

Menard and Sawatis are among the first graduates of a program offered by the SD and G Community Futures Development Corporation that offers entrepreneurs a chance to tailor their business models to the local market.

Lisa Boyer, youth entrepreneurship program co-ordinator at community futures, told Seaway News the Breezeway Business Accelerator Program is an eight-week session that gives credibility and a solid foundation to an entrepreneur's dreams.

“We test the business model,” she said. “We do some evaluations of the ideas...and then they can really get going.

“And it's all free.”

While the second session of Breezeway classes is just wrapping up, Boyer said another round is being planned for the fall.

“It gave us a chance to pause and build a business plan,” said Menard. “Versus rushing into a business plan.”

Menard's operation, which is located at the corner of Power Dam Drive and Vincent Massey Drive, includes take-out services, debit/credit payment options and he said the approval process he went through with the city was flawless.

For more on the Breezeway program, contact Boyer at 613-932-4333, ext. 106.

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