Those looking for something on the lighter side, or perhaps just a patio to enjoy a coffee or tea, would do well to drop by the Strawberry Moose Snackery at 415 Eden Rd., just across from the Wells Gray Park Visitor Centre.
The Strawberry Moose offers items ranging from sandwiches and salads, muffins, scones, pastries as well as a variety of calzones for peckish customers.
“The most popular items would be the cranberry orange scones and the mixed berry muffins; I’ve tried to make other muffins and people say, ‘Oh that sounds good, but I’ll get a mixed berry muffin please,’” said owner Sharon Chaytor.
“So those are hugely popular. The other really popular item we have quite often is the fruit tarts. It’s a pastry bottom with cream cheese, lots of fresh fruit on top, and a little bit of glaze and chocolate. They’re quite nice.”
As the term snackery suggests, the Strawberry Moose is not quite a restaurant, but has slightly more variety than a run-of-the-mill coffee shop, which caused a bit of difficulty when Chaytor was coming up with the name for the location.
“We’re not a cafe because you kind of expect hamburgers and fries from a cafe. We’re not just a coffee shop because there you might expect just a muffin and that’s about it,” she added.
“We’re not a bakery, because though we do have baked goods, we don’t do bread and buns and biscuits. So we have snacks.”
Strawberry Moose also usually has about 12 flavours of Foothills Ice Cream on hand, more than 50 varieties of loose leaf tea, Spirit Bear Coffee, which Chaytor notes is fair trade, organic and nice and strong, and espresso for those who like their coffee a bit stronger still.
The location has a small breakfast menu as well and opens at 5 a.m. making it a good stop for early birds needing something during the morning rush.
For people who have a bit of time to spare, Chaytor notes the outdoor patio section is popular among customers, and the small cozy interior offers a great chance to socialize, which is something she really pushes for.
“People enjoy the patio. It’s a little small on the inside so you have to be friends. We try to be friendly and encourage people to sit with each other and meet people,” said Chaytor.
“We have people that come from literally around the globe. We’ve had people from Israel, England, India, Australia, you name it and we’ve probably had someone from there come through.”
When asked why she wanted to open a snackery, Chaytor said it was never her intention, but the business more or less fell into her lap so she went with it.
Her original intent was to open a home bakery type business she could use to keep local grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants supplied with desserts, but after a chat with the owner of the property where the Strawberry Moose now sits, she ended up taking the spot and has been going strong for a decade.
“I had no intentions of building this, but when opportunity knocks, I try to open the door and I’ve been very happy with it,” she said.
“I’m going on 11 years and I still like getting up in the morning and doing my job.”