The Daredevils of Wicked Food to Go
Top featured photo credit: Picturesk Media
“I started my business on a dare,” says Laurie Wall, owner of Wallnuts Expressive Catering. She bubbles with excitement about crushing 17 years in an industry where survival is dependent on a combination of street smarts and miracles.
You’ll feel a lot more than just excitement when you walk into this unique shop; they pull out all the stops to make a client’s first experience an over-the-top success. You’ll see a whole pig being fabricated by kitchen manager, Destiny Slobodian, who Wall considers her foodie soul-mate. Liz Rich, the veteran of the team and resident baker, removes fresh baked focaccia bread from the oven while a row of hand-made wooden food troughs are filled with an abundance of fare by newest team member, Ginger Braatan (former owner of Best Food Forward). Head out the back door to escape the chaotic scene and you’ll find a little piece of paradise — an amazing vegetable garden.
“My first paid catering gig was pretty much on a dare,” says Wall. “I was networking another business I was building at the time at a catered Regina Women’s Network event, and I thought the food was horrible!” She chuckles: “I piped up that I could do way better than that, so the organizer told me to cater the next function if I thought I was so smart. So, I put my heart and soul into the food, and the response fueled me the way nothing had done before. I was hooked, and as cliché as it sounds, I knew I had found my calling.” A self-declared “celebrationist,” Laurie Wall and her team are now daring themselves to do what no caterer has done before. They’ve thrown the menu out the window and are asking their clients to “Trust Us.”
Wall admits: “I used to put out these intensely researched long appetizer menus that would be absolutely crazy. I travelled extensively, thinking I would name each section by country to give clients a ton of choices from around the world, but it kept getting more difficult to do myself. Destiny and I sat down to hash out a new menu when it suddenly came to me: ‘Let’s do a non-menu menu!’ With this approach, we ask our clients some questions to get a feel for their personalities, identify any food issues and just bring them what we want to make. Every event is unique and all ingredients are in the moment, which gives us a chance to push the boundaries and take chances. This has truly stoked our fire and now we’ve taken Wallnuts to another level. We’ve become Wallnuts 2.0!”
Wallnuts’ monumental success has come out of taking risks and not being afraid to push boundaries, but it’s not just the food this talented team is nailing. The company has also picked up the 2019 Regina and District Chamber of Commerce Paragon Award for Customer Service. A vortex of creativity, these women do it with such joy, you can see why they’ve been catering around the province for 17 years.
As you leave this fun-filled environment, you might see Laurie jump up to adjust the Traeger BBQ that is smoking a brisket for the already famous pastrami sandwiches that customers line up to buy at the market, Local & Fresh. Her aura is pure energy and her eyes dance when she speaks about Wallnuts. With that kind of passion, who couldn’t get behind their motto “Trust Us.” One thing is certain — these go-getters are dishing up happiness!
Wallnuts Expressive Catering
232 College Ave. East