Third time's a charm

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January 12, 2016 11:12 AM

Andrew and Crystal Nicholson of Border Eats are the proud new owners of the Harvest to Home restaurant. The Border Eats truck is up for sale but if it's not sold by summer, they plan on operating it for one more season.

From food truck to restaurant

The owners’ of Border Eats, one of Lloydminster’s favourite food trucks, are putting down roots after buying a brick-and-mortar location on the other side of town.
Andrew Nicholson and his wife Crystal, who’ve been operating Border Eats for three seasons now, recently purchased Harvest to Home, a market and restaurant on 70 Ave. known for offering fresh, locally sourced food.
“We were looking for something that was already established, because the trailer we started from scratch, so it was a lot of work,” Nicholson said.
“This had an establishment and of course they’ve done a good job and we’re just looking to expand it.”
The Nicholsons originally bought Border Eats as a stepping stone to a business in Lloydminster, and after talking to the previous owners of Harvest to Home, found the place was up for sale and just waiting for the right buyers.
Nicholson said he and his wife were looking for something smaller, independent from franchises and in the niche market.
Harvest to Home met the criteria. 
Having personal relationships with customers and a hands-on take with all aspects of business attracted them to the niche market, with both Nicholsons taking on cooking, serving and till duties.
“We know we’re part of a dying breed but we like to be in that business where you still see the owners and they still want to shake your hand and talk to you when you come through the door,” said Nicholson.
The Border Eats truck is now up for sale, but not sold, and if it’s not sold by summer, Nicholson said they’d take on double-duty and run the truck for another season.
When the truck finally does switch hands, the husband and wife team said they’ll miss the unique vibe of running an outdoor eatery.
Nicholson said they have gotten a lot of positive feedback about Border Eats and the couple is grateful for the praise.
“People really love it,” he said.
“It’s outdoors. It’s got a unique feel to it that people just don’t normally get,” he said.
“They come up, they sit and they eat outside; they eat in the sun. They like it.
“It’s just one of those businesses that has a weird addictive style to it; it’s hard to explain unless you’re doing it, and not only that, but it’s great to have a business that people enjoy.”
So with the truck still under their ownership it’s not time to say goodbye yet, and when the time does come, he said Harvest to Home will “more than likely have fish and chips there anyway.”
Fish and chips was the big draw at Border Eats and one of the main reasons the couple plans to renovate the kitchen at Harvest to Home.
The plan is to add a few more pieces of equipment so they can expand the menu with a goal to offer more seafood.
“We’re going to go (with) East Coast themes and just aim for homemade from scratch, food that you can’t get anywhere else right now,” he said.
Andrew, originally from Nova Scotia, and Crystal, an Ontario native, met in Jasper and have been edging their way into the culinary game ever since.
They ran a restaurant in Jasper before coming to Lloydminster to open Border Eats, making Harvest to Home their third crack at the food industry.
Now they just want people to go down and check out their newest digs.
“We work hard at it; we want to make the community happy and we want to build our customer base well, so come give us a try,” he said.
“We’ll be bringing new items and new food in on the regular as we get our feet planted.”
You can find Harvest to Home on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or experience it in person at 4102 70 Ave.

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