A Twist on the Midnight Snack

Amongst the dancing and beverages, you hear your stomach rumble as it waits for the late night feast to begin. Then it happens, from a distance you see it pulling up. You’ve heard about it and you’ve even read about it. A commotion starts to brew and you can’t believe your eyes as a food truck pulls in at the wedding reception.

Wedding trends come and go, but having non-traditional and unique features added will not fade out any time soon. Bride and grooms have just begun to explore all the possibilities that having a food truck at your wedding can provide. “Each truck has their own strength that they bring to the party or wedding. We offer that freshness and passion right off the table,” states Vito Guerriero, owner and chef from Avella’s Wood Fired Oven. Whether it’s classic Italian pizza or succulent oysters, Niagara’s food trucks are ready and willing to accommodate any bride and groom on their extraordinary day.

Itty Bitty Pie Company

The smell of a warm pie right out of the oven is somewhat sentimental. Perhaps it reminds you of the pies your late grandmother used to make or it evokes memories of fun times sitting around a large table sharing a slice of cake or a piece of pie with family and friends. The Itty Bitty Pie Company has been serving up savoury creations since 2012, leaving customers in awe of their fresh and flavourful creations that will send any of the five senses into overdrive.

When life gave Pam Nicholson lemons she made lemon meringue pie. Nicholson, Operations Manager of Itty Bitty Pie Company, had just been laid off from her job and her daughter, Tara Nicholson, was on maternity leave when they began selling pies at the St. Catharines Farmer’s Market. “My daughter is a foodie and she would bring over these delicious things. Shortly after, we started our food truck and opened up a store on Lake Street in St. Catharines,” explains Nicholson. Soon, Itty Bitty will be moving locations to 18 Secord Drive, St. Catharines. “We will now have the store and kitchen in one location,” adds Nicholson.

Itty Bitty offers a diverse menu of enthralling pies, cakes and dishes that can accommodate both large and small groups. Brides and grooms can choose from both savoury (meat) and sweet (dessert) pies guaranteed to please any wedding guest. “Nowadays, brides are looking for something different,” says Nicholson. “We work with the bride and groom to come up with something that is very personal to them.”

Rebecca Galbraith and her fiancé were looking for a food truck that would serve both hot food and dessert when they hired Itty Bitty Pie Company for their stunning back yard reception on October 2, 2015. “It was cold outside, so Itty Bitty Pie Company came and served chilli in a bowl topped with pie crust croutons and sour cream,” says Galbraith. “It was a big hit.” Their guests were also treated to an apple crumble with ice cream drizzled with caramel sauce.

From decorating the truck with lights and garland to writing a special message on a chalk board, Itty Bitty goes the extra mile for their couples. “They had the truck decorated for a wedding and the food truck was great for taking pictures,” says Galbraith. Itty Bitty also creates unique wedding favours such as pie-in-a-jar or pie-on-a-stick.

Nicholson likes to use the element of surprise to thrill wedding guests. “Usually the bride and groom don’t tell anyone, so we pull up and the guests see us and it’s an exciting factor,” states Nicholson. “It’s just so different than what someone would expect. The guests love it.”

With Tara as the Pie Creator, and Pam as the Operations Manager there is no surprise why this mother and daughter team are frequently sought out by brides and grooms all over the Niagara Region to deliver succulent pies to their wedding receptions.

Hometown Ice Cream

Two years ago, Linda Vandewetering purchased Hometown Ice Cream and since then she has been making both young and old scream for ice cream. With Hometown Ice Cream the secret is in the sauce, so to speak, as Linda Vandewetering does not use a premade manufactured base in her ice cream. “It’s all homemade. We crack every egg and pour every litre of cream and milk,” says Vandewetering. “When in season, I use all local fruits and products.”

When her truck makes an appearance at a wedding it is either for a refreshing snack in between the ceremony and reception or a late night treat. Both scenarios are guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any guest.

With crowd pleasing signature flavours such as Carrot Cake and Sour Cream Lime, Vandewetering is not only an owner, but she is also a flavour creator extraordinaire. She is constantly experimenting with new flavours as well as scooping out traditional ones. “If I don’t have Old Fashioned Chocolate on the truck I have some grumpy customers,” laughs Vandewetering. “Ice cream it’s so nostalgic and part of the inner child and it makes people feel happy. It’s picking the flavour and whole experience that is so fun.” Hometown Ice Cream is willing to go the extra mile to make their brides, grooms, and guests feel accommodated. “I have many gluten free options. I do paleo, vegan, and dairy free which is mostly in a sorbet form,” says Vandewetering.

Jane Bride and her husband wanted a different atmosphere for their June wedding and hired three different food trucks to cater their special day. “Hometown Ice Cream showed up a little after the dinner and people got up to socialize a bit, which is what I think they liked about having a food truck at the wedding,” says Bride. “Linda’s ice cream is pretty top notch. Our guests liked the flavour and variety of choices,” says Bride. “We got a lot of compliments saying it was the best wedding they had attended in a while or ever.”

“We know what a bride and groom bring in for their reception, the food, the experience, and the creativity is their way of saying thank you to those who have supported them and walked with them through their journey. It’s an honour that they would choose us to be that expression,” concludes Vandewetering.

Avella’s Wood Fired Oven

What is one of North American’s favourite foods? Yes, you guessed it, pizza. It doesn’t get any better than a late night buffet of mouth-watering pizza. One afternoon, the idea to have an authentic wood burning oven on wheels popped into the mind of Vito Guerriero, co-owner of Avella’s Wood Fired Oven. “I am always striving to find my own niche,” says Guerriero. With his wife, Alice, the couple located an oven in California and their Italian oven mobile became a reality.  Since 2010, Avella’s Wood Fired Oven has been spotted cruising around the Niagara Region reminiscent of the wine regions of Italy and California.

Guerriero, who has over 15 years in the food and beverage industry, mostly in Italian cuisine, creates an assortment of thin crust pizzas ideal for any wedding size, as his oven can produce enough delicious 12-inch masterpieces to keep your guests’ stomachs happy. “Most often at weddings, you will find us close to the party serving the late night buffet,” says Guerriero. “We can sling nearly 100 pizza’s an hour.”

Pleasing the bride and groom with new creations is a must for Avella’s Wood Fired Oven. “We play off our clientele and meet their requests. What I have noticed is that they are always looking for something exotic and new,” says Guerriero. “A lot of the brides have tried a pizza in Europe and ask if we can make it for them and that is when we explore and learn new things.” And that is exactly what Kat Steeves, co-owner of the Tide and Vine Oyster Company, did for her wedding day.

“I had been to Italy years ago with a few of my bridesmaids and I had this grated zucchini pizza that I couldn’t get off my mind. Vito went above and beyond and made a Niagara fresh zucchini pizza that topped the original I had in Italy,” says Steeves. “Having pizza be one of the stations at dinner pleased absolutely everyone: kids were happy, vegetarians were happy and people that had drank too much bubbly in the afternoon were very happy!” adds Steeves.

Not only does Guerriero aim to please his clients, but he also keeps his inspirations close to home. “We do a peach, prosciutto, and goat cheese pizza when they are in season,” says Guerriero. “We roll with our harvest.”

For modest sized weddings, Avella’s will fire up a baked pasta dish. “It’s amazing what the fire can do to any top of a dish,” says Guerriero. “We also prepare braised chicken cacciatore, osso buco over steamed rice, and spiedini, which is a chicken or lamb skewer,” adds Guerriero.

Avella’s Wood Fired Oven delivers more than just delectable pizza. “He set up an awesome station and brought logs to present the pizzas. Our guests were so happy; the wood fire oven added a really great atmosphere,” says Steeves.

“The wood fire oven is very approachable for a wedding. The signature is the pizza oven and the wood fired ambiance,” concludes Guerriero. “Whether it be private parties, weddings, or corporate events, we bring the real deal. Our team is all about flavour and we always have a blast doing it.”

Written By: Jill Tham

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