S’witchcraft Catering food truck owner Erik Juárez and business partner Vanessa Stonehouse pause for a quick pic before getting back to making meals for a hungry Saturday morning crowd on May 29, 2021. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

S’witchcraft Catering food truck owner Erik Juárez and business partner Vanessa Stonehouse pause for a quick pic before getting back to making meals for a hungry Saturday morning crowd on May 29, 2021. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Self-trained Salmon Arm chef aims to celebrate Shuswap with exciting food truck menu

S’witchcraft Catering owner Erik Juárez developing a following with changing menu

When asked if he’d have time to chat Saturday morning at the Ross Street Plaza, S’witchcraft Catering food truck owner Erik Juárez advised showing up before 10 a.m. as he expected to be swamped.

I arrived at 9:30 a.m., the sun was out, the nearby Downtown Salmon Arm Farmers Market was abuzz with vendors and morning shoppers and, sure enough, Juárez and his business partner Vanessa Stonehouse already had breakfasts on the go for customers – even though the truck wasn’t scheduled to open until 10.

Juárez, a self-trained chef, is all smiles as he kneels down to chat about S’witchcraft, which has earned a following since he and Stonehouse started serving the lunch crowd at Ross Street.

Juárez said he moved to Salmon Arm a year ago from North Vancouver where he owns two restaurants, BLVD Bistro and S’witch Cafe. Both continue to operate under his direction.

“I think we’ve all realized now we can manage things from afar… it’s a lot of Zoom meetings and emailing, but we get it done,” said Juárez, adding the food truck was not on his mind when he moved to Salmon Arm.

“It just kind of fell into my lap,” said Juárez. “I moved here, I didn’t know what I was doing.”

Over the month and a half S’witchcraft Catering has been in operation, Juárez said public response has been “beyond my wildest dream.”

Read more: Salmon Arm family collaborates on opening of new coffee shop

Read more: Patio pivot offers some reprieve amid restrictions for Salmon Arm restaurateurs

Juárez said he wanted to be a chef at age 16 and cooking is all he’s done since.

“I’ve never done any other kind of work, just working in professional kitchens,” said Juárez, now 39. “I never went to culinary school, just read all the books and cheated and challenged the Red Seal back in the day.”

Beside the customer window of the food truck is a sheet of brown paper with the day’s menu written on it. Juárez said he changes the menu weekly so he can bring to fruition all the recipe ideas in his head inspired, in part, by the bounty of locally grown and produced items the Shuswap has to offer.

“The aim is to feature as many local farms, artisans, makers in our products as possible…,” said Juárez. “We’re just trying to share the love and showcase the best the Shuswap has to offer. That’s central to our business plan and everything we’ve set out to do.”

Juárez added his menu will always feature a plant-based item for vegan eaters.

“I think people are ready for a change and people are ready to see something new and fresh and exciting, and we just hope to bring that every single time,” said Juárez.

With 10 a.m. creeping up, and an increasing number of customers showing up at the window, Juárez, still smiling, stood up and got back to work.

Juárez plans to have the S’witchcraft Catering truck at the Ross Street Plaza location Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. He said to check S’witchcraft’s Facebook page for possible schedule changes, new menu items and other information.


lachlan@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


#Salmon ArmFood & Dining

Just Posted

A promotional image for The Wharf Sessions album. (Salmon Arm Arts Centre image)
The Wharf Sessions album pays tribute to Salmon Arm’s long-running concert series

Salmon Arm Arts Centre wanted to give recording opportunity to artists in a tough year

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The Shuswap’s new advocate for the prevention of human-wildlife conflict, Julia Helland, pictured in her WildSafeBC shirt. (Contributed)
Go wild for animal safety this summer in the Shuswap

New WildSafeBC coordinator for Columbia Shuswap to help prevent human-wildlife conflict

A concept rendering of the proposed seven-unit, two-storey development at 1129 Riverside Ave. in Sicamous. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

Seven-unit commercial-residential building planned for Riverside Avenue

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read