Calgary is known for its diversity of cuisine selection and it can now add Indigenous Comfort food to the list.
Aahksoyo’p Indigenous Comfort Food delivers straight to customers’ doorsteps. One of their more popular orders — their Indian Taco.
What exactly is an Indian Taco? It’s all the makings of a regular taco, but it sits on top of frybread — a delightfully tasty traditional delicacy among First Nations peoples.
Aahksoyo’p owner’s Shantel Tallow and Paul Conley say the Indian Taco is among one of the many Indigenous foods they deliver to their customers throughout the Calgary and Treaty 7 area.
Tallow and Conley say there is a growing demand for Indigenous food especially when it comes to non-indigenous customers. Members of the Jamaican Bobsled team had the opportunity to try out Aahksoyo’p’s famous frybread.
“It tastes really good, we have this in Jamaica too but it’s called [something else],” said one member as he chomped down on his second piece of frybread.
As business continues to boom for the power couple, they tell a tale of ups and downs and the long road it has taken them to finally get to where they are today.
They have been through a lot in the last couple years, including being ripped off by another business manager to having plans of becoming pop-up vendors at Symons Valley Ranch — which burned down within days of plans being finalized. But despite all their obstacles they continue to have high hopes for the future.
“Everyone goes through the bad things, everyone goes through the good things. It’s just the balance and how you accept that. Our slogan on Facebook is ‘life is balanced with a taco in each hand,’ says Conley.
In spite of all the responsibilities they have on their plate, they still take time to be charitable by giving back to the community of Calgary. Which can involve collecting and donating food items and providing their food services to those in need.
“We have a freezer downstairs that we’re trying to fill. You know last week we helped a family for food for lunches. Today, we’re helping a family with milk who has a family with kids and right now, especially with the economic downturn, [...] we want to put it out there that we care for other people, we’re here to help when someone needs it,” says Conley.
Aahksoyo’p continues to be the only Aboriginal catering company listed within the city of Calgary.
Tallow hopes to grow their catering business into a storefront and eventually a food chain restaurant.
- By Nicole Auger and Aysha Zafar