Following closely the rules and regulations prescribed by Region of Waterloo public health and emergency services, food truck operators in Waterloo Region are headed back on the road.
This past February, the Galt neighbourhood was host to the cast and crew of the immensely popular television series The Haidmaid’s Tale as it returned to shoot on location in the city. The architecture in the historic downtown is a perfect setting for Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s dystopian story. The buildings, bridges and the river are also a perfect setting for the current re-development and re-generation that is taking place in the core of this area of Cambridge. New businesses have arrived and existing businesses have expanded, including EVO Kitchen which now resides in a new 7,200 sq-ft. location at 31 Water Street South.
It’s actually a very old and historic location – after a long period of extensive renovations, EVO Kitchen is in the former office of the Galt Knitting Company (now known as Tiger Brand). The building in fact dates to 1920. The move was the idea of brother and sister team Barry and Taryn Schwartzentruber who started the business in 2010 and since then have served thousands and thousands of box lunches to Waterloo Region businesses.
As customers embraced their concept of simple, healthy and customizable lunches, the EVO Kitchen grew, and they expanded their catering menu and offered takeout meals and private caterings. The company took an opportunity to grow and continues to look ahead, according to the business partners.
“We saw a diamond in the rough and the potential for a beautiful restaurant amidst the rubble and dust that sat in an old historic building,” says Barry Schwartzentruber.
EVO seats about 100 people on the main level with room for 120 people upstairs. “The upper banquet hall is used to host weddings and can be reserved for presentations and large group meetings and other private parties,” he adds. “We also have a large outdoor patio which is surrounded by the beautiful architecture in downtown Galt.
Their lunch daypart sells briskly says Taryn Schwartzentruber; they’re moving toward an expanded breakfast menu and boosting the evenings. Dinner will be assisted by a liquor license that is expected to land in the next couple of months and that will be a game-changer. “The whole menu will shift with that,” she says. “The evening will see a tapas menu.”
EVO Kitchen will continue to cater their healthy boxed lunches and platters, with the restaurant serving sandwiches, salads, soups, tapas and beverages and desserts. EVO is open daily at 8 a.m. Customers can order boxed lunches online and have them delivered the next day. “New specials and sweet things to eat come out of the kitchen every week,” Taryn Schwartzentruber says. “And everything is made in-house.”
She adds that EVO’s events and private-party bookings have really picked up, and says that’s also true of the energy in the central downtown core they are a part of. “All the businesses and owners have really come together to make Galt a happening place.” An initiative launched in 2016 called “Galt Love” is bringing more people into the town, she says.
“The first Friday of every month everyone stays open late and does something special. The core is small and walkable and with the architecture, it’s a unique place.”