Parsnipity Cafe and LumpiaPalooza Food Truck
Cynthia Wilson and husband Craig Bjork
ABOUT THE OWNERS
I started cooking our family dinners when I was about ten-years-old. We had a limited repertoire of about ten very bland 1960s-style meals, but I loved cooking them and never thought of it as a chore. When I moved to Hawaii at nineteen, my culinary world exploded. I saw food from dozens of cultures and started to experiment with herbs, spices and new cooking techniques. I learned to make lumpia from my Filipina neighbor, little knowing that forty years later, it would change my life.
I moved to Wichita eleven years ago for a “sixth month experiment,” meeting my husband during the “experiment.” I’ve lived in Seattle, Honolulu, San Francisco Bay area and Montréal, but I moved here from Decatur, Illinois where I had raised my children. I was doing personal chef work and giving cooking lessons in my home when the Epic Center discovered my “Cooking Outside the Box” Facebook page and asked me to open a restaurant in their atrium. I was fifty-eight-years-old at the time and wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted to do, but my motto is: “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space,” so I went for it.
ABOUT THE BUSINESS
I checked out “Opening a Restaurant for Dummies,” which told me to have a very coherent menu, but I went with my gut and decided to used little known dishes I’d learned from my travels to over 30 countries, in addition to fresh, housemade salads, sandwiches and soups. I also put the lumpia I so loved from Hawaii on the menu and it was a huge hit.
WHY THE BUSINESS WAS STARTED
One day, I had leftover pulled pork and wondered what it would be like as a lumpia-style egg roll. I wrapped and fried it and dipped it in BBQ sauce and it was amazing! Soon my sous chef and I were scampering around the kitchen making mac & cheese, chocolate chip cookie dough, apple pie and pizza lumpia, anything we laid our eyes on. After being in business for only two months, we decided to get ourselves on the map by having an event we called LumpiaPalooza with ten savory and ten sweet flavors of lumpia. Denise Neil put it in the paper and we sold over 1,000 lumpia out of the Epic Center that crazy day. I turned to Craig Bjork, my husband and co-owner of Parsnipity Enterprises and said, “I think we need a food truck.” In April 2017, LumpiaPalooza was launched, coming out of the gate like a bullet train. We are out at least 330 days a year, sometimes with two events in one day.
Menu available at https://www.parsnipitycafe.com/menu-1
MOST POPULAR ITEM
At the cafe, Coronation Chicken Salad. On the truck, Original Lumpia and Crab Rangoon Lumpia.
HOW TO REACH US
Parsnipity Cafe, Atrium of the Epic Center, 301 N Main Street.
Park in the Epic Center garage off of second and will validate your parking.
Parsnipity Cafe Facebook
Food truck phone: 316-617-4238
Email for both: [email protected]
Read past Get To Know features here!
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