Eats Amore – Mobile Italian Cuisine is a food truck based out of Kamloops, B.C. that specializes in S.S.O.L Food (Seasonal Sustainable Organic Local) that was conceived in 2012 and came into the world in the summer of 2013. Eats Amore aims to work with local farmers to showcase the bountiful local harvests of our region according to the season. We then take these local ingredients and make them into homemade Italian food, with recipes that came to Canada from the historic centre of Naples, Italy, where Natalie’s grandmother was raised.
Natalie Basile and Mikey Wheeler-Johnson are the owner/operators of Eats Amore. After becoming disenfranchised with their work as government employees, Natalie and Mikey quit their jobs to pursue a lifestyle of nomadic food service when they took the opportunity to convert a decommissioned handi-bus into a food truck, and bring the farm fresh flavours of the area to the streets of Kamloops. But also, tapping into Natalie’s family farm - SSOL Gardens; which is 20 acres of certified organic agricultural heaven on the South Thompson River that is owned and operated by Natalie’s parents, Ed & Daniela Basile who have been working the land since 1980.
As a young girl growing up in Kamloops
with an Italian grandmother, and a Croatian Grandfather, not to mention two very entrepreneurial spirited parents, Natalie was taught a myriad of traditional Italian recipes (specific to Naples), from her Noni Rosaria. This tutelage transpired while she also learnt how to cultivate the land, and work seasonally with the ingredients that mother earth provides, by her parents, with a serious, and heavy nod to Natalie’s mother Daniela at this point, as her culinary prowess is exceptional. Despite her degree in Poli-Sci, & Economics from Thompson Rivers University, and her cushy government job, Natalie still had a yearning to work with food, but more specifically, local food. That’s when it came to Mikey in a dream……
Mikey was born and raised in the boomtown of Fort McMurray,
in northern Alberta, and had an upbringing that was very different to the local, organic, “100 mile diet”, that Natalie was used to. But nonetheless, Mikey’s customer services/front of house service (or as we like to call it “back of truck” service) was honed in a local skate/snow shop where he got to speak about his love for (a certain type of) winter recreation passionately. As he grew into a young man, Mikey educated himself in the ways of resource extraction, as a Chemical Engineering Technologist. But the oil & gas field never really appealed to him, so he found work in the government sector for 7 ½ well spent years instead in Parks & Recreation. About 3 years into said career, is when he and Natalie met, and she began to educate him on the agricultural, and culinary ways of the world.
One night, while Natalie was back in Kamloops for a wedding, Mikey had to stay behind for work. While they were apart, Mikey had a dream. Not the type where you drift off in the middle of the day, wondering what life could be like….But instead it was the type where you’re asleep and your subconscious is trying to convey a message to your conscious mind, and you interpret that message in one way or another.
In said dream, Natalie tells Mikey that the handi-bus that he had brought her to see in a city auction yard would be better suited as a food truck instead of the ski-bum style of camper van that he was envisioning. Disclaimer - that part is true. The original idea for the food truck was to be a roaming winter camper van that would frequent the parking lots of ski resorts and back country trailheads all over southern British Columbia. But instead, in a very 'Inception' style of dream concept, Mikey thought that this conversation had actually happened (a common misconception for this vivid dreamer). But when the original story was recounted to a friend who was in attendance during the initial showing at the auction lot, he corroborated that Natalie had not actually said those words, which meant Mikey must have dreamt it. Regardless of whether it was factually based or not, Natalie was not opposed to the idea, but intrigued instead. She loved it!!