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John Day food cart offers global flair

Little Canyon Food Cart in John Day is off to a ‘strong start.’
Angel Carpenter

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on June 22, 2017 11:06AM

Lorin Coleman and Michaela Wolf own Little Canyon Food Cart in John Day with Lorin’s parents, Neal and Linnea Coleman.

The Eagle/Angel Carpenter

Lorin Coleman and Michaela Wolf own Little Canyon Food Cart in John Day with Lorin’s parents, Neal and Linnea Coleman.

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Lorin Coleman folds up a burrito at Little Canyon Food Cart.

The Eagle/Angel Carpenter

Lorin Coleman folds up a burrito at Little Canyon Food Cart.

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Lorin Coleman, a part owner of Little Canyon Food Cart, adds sauce to a pork burrito, one of the customer favorites on the menu.

The Eagle/Angel Carpenter

Lorin Coleman, a part owner of Little Canyon Food Cart, adds sauce to a pork burrito, one of the customer favorites on the menu.

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Michaela Wolf serves lunch to Rebekah Rand last Wednesday at the Little Canyon Food Cart in John Day.

The Eagle/Angel Carpenter

Michaela Wolf serves lunch to Rebekah Rand last Wednesday at the Little Canyon Food Cart in John Day.

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Mexican, Thai and Indian foods, as well as other standbys and specials, can all be found under one food cart roof.

Lorin Coleman, Michaela Wolf and Neal and Linnea Coleman, owners of Little Canyon Food Cart in John Day, each bring their own unique talents to the business, which opened April 7 at 200 SE Dayton St.

Although each of the owners take turns cooking, Lorin said his parents, Neal and Linnea, are the “secret weapon” of the business.

Neal, who spent time overseas in the Navy, brings the southeast Asian flair, and he also prepares the meat for other dishes on the menu.

Linnea provides a curry special, which she’s made at home for years, and she also bakes the sweets and pastries.

Michaela brings her experience working in local restaurants, and Lorin does a little of everything, including building what is needed for the business, bookkeeping and communicating with vendors.

Lorin said the idea for the food cart was well thought out, yet spur of the moment. He gives credit to their current success to Papa Rod’s food cart, which had a good response in the same spot in the past.

“I think a lot of people like the idea of a food cart,” Lorin said. “Papa Rod’s paved the way.”

Michaela said when Maria’s Mexican restaurant in Canyon City closed, it created a cultural gap.

“We really enjoy food,” Lorin said. “I thought to myself, I want to have a burrito nearby.”

Little Canyon’s menu also includes breakfast items, such as biscuits and gravy, breakfast sandwiches and burritos.

An English muffin sandwich can include an egg, goat cheese, tomato, capers and spinach. Bagels, croissants, sausage, bacon and veggie patties are other options.

The lunch menu includes tacos, burritos, sausage dogs, chips and salsa and lunch specials, such as yellow or red curried chicken with rice.

Freshly brewed Stumptown Coffee, hot or cold, is available, and as for sweets, you might find a slice of homemade pumpkin pie, cake or Swedish cinnamon rolls.

Lorin said they began planning last October, working with Sally Bartlett of the Grant County Economic Development office.

He said the support from Bartlett and Lyn Gardner, owner of the lot and A Little Bit of Europe antique shop, has been positive. The customer response has also been positive, he said.

“People have been enormously supportive,” he said. “We couldn’t ask for anything better. We want to repay that by maintaining a high level of quality. Most (businesses) have a strong start — it’s maintaining that.”

In the future, the owners hope to bring music and more seating, providing an outdoor atmosphere.

“We want to add to the community and offer more than just food and drinks,” Michaela said. “We want our presence here to be a benefit to the community.”

“That’s true for all the businesses,” Lorin added.

They plan to continue to add menu items from around the globe, utilizing as much local produce, meat, eggs and honey as possible.

When asked to name one of the customer favorites, Lorin didn’t hesitate.

“Pork tacos,” he said. “People just won’t stop. They’re becoming dependent.”

Little Canyon Food Cart is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The owners hope to expand hours to include Friday nights and Saturdays. For more information, call 541-620-2911.







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