Northern Wilds Magazine
All the food at Emma’s Kitchen, owned by Emma G. Heikkila, is made from scratch, from smoking her taco meat to grinding her own spices. |VIRGINIA GEORGE
North Shore Dish

Meals on Wheels: The Charm of Food Trucks

One of my most memorable food truck experiences was during the pandemic shutdowns. To get us all out of the house my husband and I took our five kids on a bike ride on the Lakewalk. We parked on the north end of Duluth, with the intent to cycle down to Canal Park and back. Grabbing our packed lunches, we set off. When we got to the Rose Garden, we stumbled upon (cycled upon? I mean, no one had fallen… yet) the Rambler. Knowing our lunches were a little light, we stopped to get a little pre-lunch, which we ate in Leif Erickson Park, overlooking the lake, before heading to Canal Park where I snapped a photo of the kids with their Uncrustables on their heads in an attempt to entice seagulls to eat them.

Food trucks have made their way to the North Shore, despite our unpredictable weather and their limited season. One unique feature of a food truck instead of a standard storefront is the ability to be mobile and to go where the people are. Food trucks have become staples at music festivals, community events, and breweries, and provide a unique dining experience for customers who want more than standard concession fare at these events. Of course, this means a more seasonal gig than a standard storefront, but there’s something lovely about adjusting our lives with the rhythm of the seasons instead of being caught up in the monotony where one day is the same as the next. That said, weather changes make the food truck industry a complicated one, but this month we’ve got a few businesses to share with you who seem to have it figured out: Emma’s Kitchen, Log Home Wood Fired Pizza, and Shook Smoothies.

Emma’s Kitchen, Two Harbors

I had the opportunity to catch up with Emma G. Heikkila, owner of Emma’s Kitchen, one afternoon outside of Deluxe Insurance Group in Duluth. She is part of their regular food truck schedule, though her home base is in Two Harbors, and can often be found outside of Castle Danger Brewery.

Heikkila has always had a passion for cooking, and after growing up in the Philippines and spending 17 years working in Saudi Arabia, she truly is a global chef. For years, Heikkila has done small batch cooking, selling her homemade pies, empanadas, and eggrolls to friends, family, and acquaintances, until last year, when she had the opportunity to purchase her little blue food trailer—and she hasn’t looked back.

All of Heikkila’s food is made from scratch, from smoking her taco meat to grinding her own spices. She refuses to serve anything that she hasn’t been intimately involved in creating, so you can be sure every dish you receive comes from her heart. You won’t find a better shawarma anywhere in town, thanks to Heikkila’s Saudi experience. She also offers tacos, eggrolls, and more. Because she makes everything from scratch, Heikkila knows exactly what is in her food, so if you have any questions, always feel free to ask.

Heikkila’s food is plentiful, flavorful, and made with passion and care. You’ll find her around town at businesses and festivals, and she is available for catering as well. You can find a schedule for Emma’s Kitchen on Facebook under: Emma’s Global Delights LLC and Emma’s Kitchen.

Log Home Wood Fired Pizza, McGregor

While McGregor isn’t on the North Shore, Log Home Wood Fired Pizza has a consistent presence in Duluth. You’ll find them outside many Duluth Huskies games as the “Official Pizza of the Duluth Huskies,” and traveling the brewery and cidery trail through Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

At their core, Log Home Wood Fired Pizza is passionate about food that expresses who they are, and where they’re from. Both their wild rice and maple syrup are harvested locally, and their food represents the north woods and the community that thrives there. An educator at heart, Rick Herman, and his business-savvy wife Nancy Herman, have had the opportunity to assist others in their mobile food truck businesses, and really believe in paying it forward. They operate their food truck in both McGregor and Duluth, and hire accordingly. They also opened a storefront in McGregor, where you can see other family members working from time to time. A labor of love, Nancy and Rick love what they do—meeting people and playing with fire.

Often found in Duluth, Log Home Wood Fired Pizza offers pizzas made to order and cooked in a 900-degree wood fired oven. | VIRGINIA GEORGE

Pizzas are made to order and cooked in a 900-degree wood fired oven, and include pizzas like buffalo chicken, the Log Cabin cheese pizza, brisket and tots, or if you have a sweet tooth, they even serve dessert pizzas. Stay connected with their schedule by following their Facebook page: Log Home Wood Fired Pizza, or visit:

SHOOK Smoothies, Grand Marais

I don’t know about you, but when I think of Grand Marais I think of beautiful Lake Superior, and I think of exploring. Jordan Plummer of SHOOK is a traveler and an adventurer, and what is more important to a successful adventure than nutrition? SHOOK was born out of a passion for flavorful plant-based food on the go, with a focus on ingredients that both taste good and serve to fuel an active lifestyle.

SHOOK offers more than smoothies: their poke bowl features smoked salmon from Fisherman’s Daughter, and if you’re in the mood for a smoothie but not a “traditional” smoothie, try a smoothie bowl. They also offer protein-rich options in their shakes, and of course, standard smoothies with mango, strawberry, or dragonfruit.

Shook Smoothies is deeply invested in the community, and you will find them at community events throughout Grand Marais. You can also order online for next day pickup. Keep track of SHOOK’s adventures on their Facebook page: SHOOK.

Food trucks truly provide a unique dining experience, which allows patrons to be present in their communities in ways that differ from traditional restaurants. They allow us the opportunity to connect with other patrons, or to gather with friends socially in untraditional ways. It felt serendipitous to find a food truck parked in our path that cool, April day, and I’ll never forget the small feeling of community I felt at The Rambler, when the world felt uncertain. Food brings us together—and food trucks bring us together out in the wild. So, get out there, and maybe I’ll catch you in line.

Related posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Verified by MonsterInsights