Todd and Becky Horning are adventurous in spirit. That’s what landed them in a Bangkok train station on a five week trip to Thailand where the smell of crepes led them to their future. They watched as the crepes were poured and spun on crepe burners and wondered to themselves why they’d never seen this done in the United States.
The couple met in a restaurant in Missoula during college and worked in catering, fine dining, restaurant equipment sales, and as innkeepers at a lodge. With this background, owning their own restaurant was the dream. Concept discovered, they returned to Montana and began hosting crepe making parties at their home. Friends brought various ingredients and experimenting ensued.
Newly married in 2005 and without the funds to open a restaurant, they bought a bus instead. Today, gourmet food trucks are the rage in cities like New York and Los Angeles, but Becky and Todd pioneered the “gourmet bus” concept here in the Flathead Valley and brought a needed change to the usual food vendor fare at summer farmer’s markets and art festivals.
In 2009, they opened their current location on Central in Whitefish. Todd can be seen through the front window, pouring and spreading their crepe batter (containing eighty eggs to every four gallons) onto their French crepe burners. Fresh, healthy ingredients—turkey, brie, Farm-to-Market ham, spinach, salmon, pear, Gorgonzola, toasted almonds, roasted root veggies, and many more— are placed in the crepe and wrapped up in an easy take and go package.
Crepes can be made gluten and dairy free with their popular buckwheat batter. Sweet crepes are also offered and may be paired with a scoop of ice cream made by Sweet Peaks.
Locals and tourists will often stop by to pick up a dozen unfilled crepes to freeze and use when needed. They sell for $9 a dozen for their regular batter and $12 a dozen for the buckwheat. Becky suggests using them for a unique dessert at a party.
Todd and Becky are still full of adventure and have big plans for their future.
A new little member was added to their family just prior to opening their restaurant. He was born premature and when he started eating solid foods, Becky took advantage of their restaurant kitchen and began creating recipes for organic baby food using fresh, health packed ingredients.
That’s how their second business—Wee Chef— was born. They now have a separate facility on Highway 2 where they make the baby food and package it. This way there is no cross contamination and it can be sold wholesale as certified organic. Because the food is made from vegetables and fruit from local organic farmers, they applied for a growth through agriculture grant from the Department of Agriculture and received half. This money will be used to purchase a walk in freezer and five merchandising freezers to be placed in baby boutiques.
Wee Chef is currently carried in The Good Earth Store in Billings and the Real Food Market in Helena. Todd and Becky are planning a ten day road trip to do taste tests around the state to get more stores on board.
Something tells us this isn’t the last of their ideas. Or adventures.
For more information about their restaurant, catering services, classy red bus, or organic baby food, visit their websites for Amazing Crepes and Wee Chef. Or their Facebook Pages- Amazing Crepes and Wee Chef.