When local entrepreneurs Justin Butler and his wife Kristin first tasted kürtőskalács (chimney cakes) during a trip to Hungary, they knew they had to bring this delicious treat to Canada. In 2016, Eva’s Original Chimney (named for Justin’s grandmother) began offering their unique product from a food truck—and word spread fast. Eva’s now operates four locations (two in Mississauga) and two food trucks.
We asked Kristin about the massive success of the Eva’s Original Chimney brand.
LL: Tell us about Eva! What inspired you to recreate her favourite treat here in Canada?
KB: Eva was born and raised in Budapest but left everything behind when her family moved to the Mississauga area in 1956. As a child, she loved eating kürtőskalács (chimney cakes) from local street vendors and often told us stories about this and other experiences from her time in Hungary. In 2013 my husband Justin and I sold everything we owned to travel the world and finished the trip with family in Budapest. When we tried chimney cakes in Eva’s home, they were so delicious and the atmosphere was so magical we knew that we had to bring this experience back. We learned how to make chimney cakes in Europe and then returned home to develop a special dough recipe with Eva.
LL: Why did you choose to peddle your wares from a food truck instead of a bricks and mortar location?
KB: A food truck was the easiest way to start out—it allowed us to go to different areas around Mississauga and the GTA and be nimble. By our second year, we were having such an amazing response, we realized we really did need a permanent home for Eva’s!
LL: What’s been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur? Lessons learned? Best advice for someone starting out?
KB: It’s a challenge to balance a long-term plan with adapting quickly to keep up with trends. For example, we started out selling chimney cakes plain, with no ice cream. Then we heard about ice cream-filled chimney cakes becoming popular in Europe and we acted quickly to get the right equipment, recipe, marketing and training to make it happen. Our advice for others is to always have a strategy, but also don’t be afraid to pivot—and act fast when you need to.
LL: Most popular item on your menu?
KB: The Dream Cone: Featuring house-made brownies, house-made salted caramel and chocolate sauce and toffee bits. It’s the perfect hit of salty, sweet, crunchy and gooey.
Try a chimney cone for yourself! Eva’s Original Chimney will have a truck at the Streetsville Bread & Honey Festival and at Food Truck’n Fridays at Celebration Square.
originalchimneys.com | @ogchimneys