Indigenous comfort food catering company now celebrating four years in business

Shantel Tallow
Shantel Tallow to download the menu or see the website for contact information for catering services.

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It all started with a hockey fundraiser to help her nephew. Now Shantel Tallow runs a successful catering company, Aahksoyo’P Indigenous Comfort Food.

In the Blackfoot language Aahksoyo’P means “we’re going to eat”.

As a child, Tallow always loved food and she learned to cook at a young age from her grandparents. Her business offers everything from fry bread to baked spaghetti, Saskatoon berry soup to and bannock cheeseburgers.

She caters for events large and small, and offers home delivery for families or individuals.

While she never dreamed of becoming a caterer, she’s glad she did because she loves what she does.

“Getting started was unscheduled,” she said. “I hadn’t planned on making a catering company, but I have the education for it with the Indigenous tourism.” The first and second years were great because it was branded to Calgary. They were the only Indigenous catering company in Calgary at the time in 2016.

In August the company turns four, and it’s been three years since “I’ve been running uphill on my own”.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused her to develop online techniques, like showing how to make bannock and fry frybread.

Tallow takes great pleasure in hearing compliments on her cooking.

“That’s what make my world go round… Yes, it’s a labour of love. I put all my love into my food.”

Take your vision and run, recommends Tallow. “Go for it.

“I was so scared to start. And there are so many links out there to help you with the start up and taking it to the next step…”

Tallow said she has made adjustments as necessary to her business plan over the years. At first she wanted a food truck, but now she’s focused on finding a home for the catering company. The site she works from is shared by 25 other kitchens.