The southern England town of Farnham, U.K., is an unlikely place for a Canadian food truck. Yet, that’s exactly where The Funky Pickle has set up shop, serving Canadian favourites like poutine and perogies.
The Funky Pickle was founded in 2018, after Bob Vandal and his partner, Cheryl White, decided to say goodbye to their corporate jobs in Alberta and move across the pond.
“This is retirement, a hundred percent,” Vandal told CTV News. “We just got tired of the corporate BS and it was really taking its toll on me.”
Even Bob’s son, Colton, has joined the new family business, leaving behind his high-paying job in Fort McMurray, Alta.
“You know, I was just looking for something a little different in life,” he told CTV News.
Poutine, perogies and Nanaimo bars are among the Canadian mainstays on the menu, along with burgers, chicken wings and deep-fried pickles. The Funky Pickle takes its name from a now-closed Edmonton pizza shop that was once a favourite among local university students.
“When I got to a certain age, I realized there is a jigsaw puzzle in life and it still had pieces that were empty,” Vandal said.
Farnham, is in a region known to Hollywood for its great filming locations, is not far from where Vandal’s father was stationed while serving in the Second World War.
The various decals on the food truck, such as an Oilers logo and an illustration of a teepee, represent different parts of Vandal’s life, reflecting on his Edmonton roots as well as his forefathers who hail from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory.
“It’s so rewarding to see the British culture and the British people embrace what we offer,” White told CTV News.