“We are committed to making everything in-house, even if it kills us.”
If that’s all you know about Camp Cookhouse and General Store, then Alex Bruveris will be a happy chef. Alex and his wife, moved from Toronto, Ontario to Elkwater, Alberta and have made the Camp Cookhouse the fresh-cooked food haven for the community.
For a brief comparison, Toronto has a population of 2.6 million and Elkwater comes in just shy of that at 60. So let’s start off with Chef Alex telling us what they love about the Camp.
“I’m from Toronto, and my wife and I bought a small place in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by an interprovincial park. The idea of making everything that we serve: from bread to bacon, wasn’t a huge deal in a large city, but where we are, no one cooks like that. I love that I can bring fresh, home cooked food to a place where everyone has been cooking from a freezer to a fryer for 25 years.”
What has been the most interesting/oddest thing to happen to their business?
“Getting bite back from old regulars about replacing the menu of frozen food was really strange, but winning over a community with fresh food has been really really cool.”
If that’s not a big enough business challenge, most small foodservice operators will recognize this next one.
“Taking over in the middle of the summer our first year was brutal. We had no idea the volume of food we’d be going through, and shifting from doing dinner service 5 nights a week to breakfast lunch and dinner 7 days a week was more than a slight adjustment. We’re in year 3, and we’ve finally hit our stride.”
What inspired Chef Alex to get into the foodservice business?
“Before I had a real interest in food, I liked the work, and the lifestyle. I think making food as a trade is very honest, and that’s something I still appreciate.”
Believe it or not, the Camp Cookhouse and General Store uses Cambro products. Even in Elkwater, Alberta you can find Cambro products.
“We absolutely love your storage containers. Being where we are, we can only get deliveries once a week, so maintaining freshness can be tough. We don’t have a ton of your plastic bins, but anything that needs to last a while goes in one. They’re just lovely for stacking, and so great for keeping an organized walk in.”
We’d like to wish Chef Alex and all the counselors at Camp Cookhouse continued success. Next time you’re in Medicine Hat and that big city gets to be too much for you, stop by the Camp in Elkwater, Alberta, Canada.
For their selection as the Cambro Foodservice Business of the Week, Chef Alex and the Camp will receive a storage prize pack.
Links for Camp Cookhouse & General Store
Nominate your business to be the Cambro Business of the Week – click here.