British Columbia

Painted Pony Cafe in Kamloops serves up Aboriginal fare

When the doors opened at the Painted Pony cafe in Kamloops, it was the realization of a dream 20 years in the making.

Carol and Evelyn Camille open First Nations restaurant in downtown Kamloops

Carol, Evelyn and Lacey Camille are cooking and serving their traditional First Nations recipes in their very own café in Kamloops. The place started as a dream, 20 years ago. The CBC's Samantha Garvey talks with the women. (Samantha Garvey/CBC)

When the doors opened at the Painted Pony cafe in Kamloops, it was the realization of a dream two decades in the making.

Carol Camille and her mother-in-law Evelyn Camille had the idea 20 years ago.

"[We] decided that we were going to open a restaurant on the reserve and we found a location, but then we were told no, just a flat out no," Carol Camille told Daybreak Kamloops' Samantha Garvey.

This spring, the dream resurfaced, and Camille started looking for another location. She ended up at 705 Victoria Street in downtown Kamloops.

The restaurant serves traditional Aboriginal fare including Indian Tacos, Elk Stew, Deer Steak, Turtle Burgers and Bannock. 

Evelyn Camille bills herself as the bannock maker, and says she goes through about 27 pounds of flour each day.

"I won't tell you my recipe. They have to come and taste it, and they'll keep coming back."

An "Indian Taco," served on bannock is on the menu at the Painted Pony Cafe. (Painted Pony Cafe/Facebook)

Camille took many of her recipes from her own mother.

"We lived off the garden during the war," she said.

"The corn reminds me so much of my mum, because she made delicious meals out of nothing, out of scratch."

By serving up traditional fare, the Camille's have helped people in Kamloops discover new dishes.

Carol Camille said the restaurant is serving more than sustenance and new flavours.

"Food is major. It's that part that brings us together, and takes down walls and barriers that we actually get to share something," she said.

"As Aboriginal people, because we're not materialistic, food was what we always had, so we shared what we had with everyone."

The Painted Pony Cafe opened on November 29th. The grand opening will be held in January.

To hear more about the Painted Pony Cafe, click the audio labelled: Painted Pony Cafe in Kamloops serves up Aboriginal fare.


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