After hearing so much about Salt Spring Island and the artsy, hippie culture here, I was stoked, on my first visit to the island, to find a couple of foodie gems, Kizmet Café and Humsa Food Truck, that really captured the essence of Salt Spring’s creative, down to earth, and health conscious culture.
Being nestled away in the forest makes these places all the more special. It’s exciting to discover something unusual in a place that you wouldn’t expect. Kind of like the day I found a single carrot growing in the forest gully among the sword ferns when I was little. It was an unusual place for it to grow which sparked my curiosity. I revered it as special and unique compared to the ones that grew in Mom’s garden because it was different. It stood out on its own. It was like a little treasure.
In the same way, this place feels special. It stands out from other cafés and food trucks that exist in places where you’d expect them to. Plus, it’s really neat to order a latte and a gourmet meal in the forest and then sit down and enjoy it at a funky outdoor sitting area accompanied by birds and nature. These are the moments that really stand out in my mind and become conversation pieces in the future.
If it wasn’t for the roadside sandwich board sign that caught my eye on the drive between Ganges and Ruckle Point, I would never have known about this place. A few other people noticed too.
Humsa Food Truck
Ab is the solopreneur who runs Humsa, “the good food truck” his tagline says. I can tell that he loves what he does by the way he greets people and prepares his dishes. His friendly demeanour made me feel so welcome that I sat down and chatted with him for a little while during his break.
Ab is from California and came here looking for a place to live and work. He was looking for a similar vibe to where he grew up at Big Sur. Salt Spring Island was it and has become his haven for three seasons now.
The farming lifestyle is something that Ab is very familiar with. Not only is he currently living on a mushroom and sprout farm, but he has also worked and lived on farms his whole adult life. The food he makes is inspired by seed and soil and the goodness that comes from that.
His menu options are gluten free and organic and he sources much of his ingredients, for example eggs, from local no-kill farms. There are even vegan options.
The popular menu item of the day was the Huevos Racheros, a gluten-free flat bread folded over sauteed kale and topped with a thick black bean sauce, poached egg, and two scoops of fermented tahini sour cream to counter the spicy salsa. Finally, it was topped with a sprinkling of cilantro and adorned with a side of sprouts.
I ordered one and sat down at a little round table with an umbrella. It was hearty and delicious and I felt good knowing that I was consuming fresh, nutritious, and gluten-free ingredients.
Kizmit’s appearance from the outside reminded me of a deluxe fort with its rustic patio, cookie cutter skylights, chandelier and artwork. Inside, the comforting aroma of coffee permeated the space.
The warm and comfy ambiance felt welcoming. There was enough seating to sit and visit with friends while enjoying your favourite espresso beverage. Fresh flowers and interesting Salt Spring Island artwork reflected the earthy and creative island vibe. Mobina Dick was so cute!
And of course there were many scrumptious snacks to choose from too.
Once you’ve ordered your food and beverage you have the tough choice of deciding where you’d like to sit and experience this place. There are so many options!
If you’ve got children, the picnic table with the sandbox and toys might be a convenient option.
Perhaps you’d enjoy the garden with its array of seating arrangements.
If you’re looking for quiet solitude, you might enjoy sitting in the woodshed.
Or if you’d like to eat and then shop maybe the boutique would be a fun place to sit. You can admire some local artwork here too.
The grounds were creatively embellished with thought-provoking art like this baby in the carriage made out of odds and ends.
I can’t help but imagine how fun this must have been to create! And even more, how enjoyable it must be to work here every day and experience peoples’ reactions to it.
It’s obvious that this place is a labour of love and that the customer experience is of utmost importance to all who work here. They’ve put special touches into everything from the good wholesome food and tasty beverages to the customer experience, even right down to the funky pit toilets adorned with flowers.
I’ve discovered that Salt Spring Island is a pretty special place. I’ll definitely be back for more experiences here.
If you’d like to read more, check out my post, Salt Spring Island!