Opening a new business is always filled with risks and challenges. Despite the name of Charlotte Sit’s new food truck, her experience opening The Lucky Pup was filled with obstacles, and sheer bad luck. The road to opening wasn’t just rocky– it was flooded.
After overcoming these hurdles, The Lucky Pup Food Truck served its first Banh mi on Dec. 1 at Big Eddy Glass Works. The new food truck takes a unique approach to Asian fusion cuisine, combining pan-Asian flavours with the Banh mi sandwich, a staple Vietnamese street food.
While Sit was aiming to open The Lucky Pup this summer, COVID-related supply shortages pushed manufacturing timelines months behind.
“The truck was supposed to be completed for construction at the end of July,” Sit explains. “The builders, they just weren’t able to get it done until the end of November.”
After facing months of delays, Sit finally arrived in Vancouver in late November to pick up her food truck. However, in a stroke of bad timing, historic rainfall hit the lower mainland immediately after she arrived. All highways closed, and Sit faced a hectic trip back to Revelstoke.
After spending a few days stranded in Vancouver, it was time to navigate the destroyed roadways.
“I’ve never even driven with a trailer before, and here [I am] driving across the province during the winter time. It was an exciting journey,” she exclaims. Despite the intensity of the situation, Sit laughs when explaining the trip. It made the opening more rewarding, she says.
Putting a pan-Asian twist on a Vietnamese staple
Banh mi, the staple dish of The Lucky Pup food truck, traditionally consists of a crunchy baguette, juicy meats, crisp pickled vegetables, and a kick of jalapeno.
At The Lucky Pup, Sit takes flavours from across Asian cuisines and pairs them alongside traditional Banh mi toppings. For example, Sit uses traditional Chinese-style barbeque pork in one of the Lucky Pup’s sandwiches.
“That’s actually a recipe, a flavor from my childhood that I really like,” she explains. “I think it works really well in a Banh mi sandwich, but it’s definitely not a traditional Banh mi filling.”
This merging of cuisines is one of the driving forces behind Sit’s inspiration. Being raised in Calgary by Chinese parents, Sit was exposed to a wide range of cultural cuisine. She was particularly enthralled by Calgary’s budding Vietnamese culinary scene, she elaborates. This inspired Sit to explore culinary risks, and bring new flavors to her audience.
“That’s the thing about food that I really like working as a chef, making food for people and just seeing people connect over a meal,” Sit elaborates.
“When you introduce people to new foods and new cuisines, and they’re like, ‘Wow, I never knew this existed,’ I love that sort of experience.”
While The Lucky Pup is operating on a pop-up basis for the rest of the winter, Sit has already seen overwhelming support from the Revelstoke community.
Upon arriving at Big Eddy Glass Works on Dec. 2, The Lucky Pup’s second day of operations, a steady stream of customers were already lined up for lunch orders. People vocally expressed their excitement, eager to finally taste a Banh mi in Revelstoke.
“I think for any new business owner, it’s always like, ‘Oh my god, what am I getting myself into,'” Sit reflects. However, she did her research and is confident in her business model. She believes that taking culinary risks will pay off, especially as Revelstoke grows.
“[The Lucky Pup] serves up something that’s different, that people want. I think that this community is just going to grow, and there’s going to be more people, especially coming from the city, that want more food [with] an international flavor.”
For now, The Lucky Pup will be making pop-up appearances until it opens full-time in May 2022. Despite the challenges and even disasters along the way, Sit hopes that the food truck can help turn the Big Eddy Glass Works into a “hub within the Big Eddy community.”
To get a taste of The Lucky Pup’s Asian-fusion Banh mi’s, visit their website or follow their Instagram for winter updates. The food truck will be at the Big Eddy Holiday Market at Big Eddy Glass Works on Dec. 10.