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 key in the lock of a door. (File photo)
Sicamous residents say lack of long-term rentals detrimental to town

A couple who have lived in Sicamous for 27 years and want to stay might have to leave

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Brodie Stuart and her mom, Mikel Stuart, gather for the celebration at Parkview Elementary on June 18, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Eagle Valley News)
Three Shuswap parents honoured for combined 34 years of volunteering

Parkview Elementary parent advisory council members surprised by appreciative flash mob

Centennial Field in Blind Bay will be the site of Market by the Bay on Thursday nights starting June 24, 2021. (Columbia Shuswap Regional District photo)
Forty vendors expected for new Market by the Bay in the South Shuswap

Market starting June 24 to be situated at Centennial Field in Blind Bay

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to collect donations ahead of Kristy Handel’s 33-kilometre run for Chelaine McInroy (pictured) to cover costs for a new prosthetic leg after her June 12, 2021, surgery. (GoFundMe)
Salmon Arm woman runs to raise funds for friend’s new prosthetic leg

33-kilometre Run for Chelaine to help athlete cover medical costs from latest surgery

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Most Read