Anna Phillips and Sophie Wegecsanyi, the sisters who owned Wattle Tree Place in Vancouver’s Uptown Village, are opening an Indian curry business. To launch their new endeavor, they’re hosting a Summer Market 4-9 p.m. July 21 and 22 at Hidden House, 100 W. 13th St.
“Feeding people while nourishing the soul was the beginning of Wattle Tree Place,” Wegecsanyi said.
The sisters grew up in Australia, but their grandmother was from India. During their childhood, they prepared curries, flatbreads, chutneys and rice with their mother. Phillips remembers forming rounds of flaky paratha and eating them hot from the pan as an after-school treat. Another staple was end-of-the-week curry made with handfuls of fresh mint, potatoes, homemade spice mix and whatever produce was left in the pantry.
Wegecsanyi recently filled in for Ingrid Murphy-Kenny, owner of Ingrid’s Good Street Food (1701 Broadway) for five weeks. This experience made her think of starting her own food business. When she ran this idea by her sister, they both wanted to serve their childhood favorites.
They decided an outdoor event would be the perfect way to gather the New Age community created when they opened Wattle Tree Place in 2017. Their two-day Summer Market in late July will feature vendors, musicians and workshops, such as meditation for children ($15) and an adult group meditation and reiki session ($25), as well as family events ($35 for two people) on the verdant grounds of the historic Hidden House. Guests register for workshops through the Wattle Tree Place website (www.wattletreeplace.com). Vendors can apply for free spots by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inside Hidden House, the event will serve plates for $16 to $20 heaped with choice of curry, choice of raita (tomato and onion or cucumber and yogurt), rice and paratha. Curry options include things like vegan aloo gobi dotted with cumin seeds as well as beef curry simmered in coconut milk with their mother’s secret cinnamon-infused spice mix. Everything from the layered paratha to the tender cubes of cheese in the saag paneer is scratch-made. In the fall, the sisters will serve this same menu for dinner from Monday through Wednesday at Hidden House through their new business Nanna’s Curries.
An Indian curry pop-up shop may seem like a strange next step for a duo known for reiki sessions, potions and tea, but for these sisters it’s merely a continuation of their interest in creating community.
“The drive to do what Wattle Tree did has never diminished,” Phillips said. “This is the next step.”