We have the most YUM food truck here on Vashon and now that the weather is warmer – you should start seeing Orca Eats out and about. Please read on so we can introduce you to Emily – the force behind Orca Eats…
VH: From where do you hail?
Emily: Menlo Park, California. In the very pre-Facebook headquarters era.
VH: How did you land on Vashon?
Emily: I came to Seattle in ’82. By 1992, my husband and I wanted easy access to water for his sailing racing and space for me and my horse riding, and non-city environment for our wee kids, so we moved here in 1992.
VH: Tell us all about Orca Eats…
Emily: Orca Eats is a food truck serving on the street, at community events, and private parties like weddings and birthday bashes, from April through October. This is our fourth year!
We serve only locally pasture raised meats, wild caught seafood, and mostly local produce. Our menu changes each week, is small, and scratch made: entrees, desserts, beverages. Well, we don’t make the Mexican Coke, or our breads, but we do make everything else! Our food is seasonal, fun, and we try to offer something for everyone from plant based to omnivorous to gluten free eaters. Tell us how you eat and we can probably make you a tasty meal.
We are usually at the Farmers Market on Saturdays, and often on Bank Road east of the Highway on Sundays. We love our farmers, their fresh produce, the Sheepdog Trials Festival and various events at O Space. We donate food to the Food Bank and do “pay what you wish” days so anyone can enjoy a good meal regardless of ability to pay, and give the excess to the Food Bank.
It’s really wonderful to have people pay extra for their food so someone else can have lunch, and there is always extra money to donate! We are eco friendly and don’t use any single use plastics – just wood forks and spoons, paper, palm and cane fiber plates and cups. We compost and share scraps with pigs. Basically all the things Vashon stands for as a green community trying to help the Earth. I like to encourage people to cook and often share recipes and how-to’s with customers.
VH: What inspired you to start your business?
Emily: I like people, food and having a nimble business, both literally and figuratively. I cooked in restaurants as a kid, and always enjoy cooking and eating and learning. When we closed our horse business I was looking for something customer experience based, and something I could leave for a day or a month or more. Food trucking fits the bill, and I enjoy it. Having a small staff to work with, learn from, and have fun together is a big part of it. Some very special people have made and served food in our truck, and I’m grateful for them!
VH: What is your superpower?
Emily: Knowing that the glass is half full and having the confidence to go find more when it’s been emptied.
VH: When you have company visiting the island, where do you like to take them?
Emily: Vashon Baking Company for pie; Zamorana for lunch; May for dinner. Sailing on the Sound. A walk in our woods. I cook for visitors, sometimes in the food truck for a picnic in our back field.
VH: What’s next for your business?
Emily: We’re gearing up for the season starting in April with some new things on the menu: shakshuka for brunch-lunch; Doug fir soda; cheese cake in a jar. Some tshirts with funny sayings on the back — “Orca Eats whatever it wants” has sparked a lot of good sayings!
VH: What’s the best thing you ever bought at Granny’s? 🙂
Two nice vegetable peelers, each under $1!