It’s a much-loved hometown favourite and a major business success story, all in one. Angelina’s Dutch Corner has been in operation for nearly two decades in the Royal City and its reputation continues to shine.
“We love what we do here,” says Eric Missouri, who took over as owner eight years ago. “We specialize in European style foods, especially breakfast and specifically the Dutch style pannekoek. Many of our customers we see over and over again, and bring friends and family with them to try it for a first time because they know they will enjoy the food.”
Unbeknown to most customers, a huge portion of their menu is organic. “People will say ‘this tastes different, it’s so good, it’s so fresh.’ And that’s because a majority of our ingredients are organic, Grade A products.”
While the quality of the food has been the foundation for their success, Missouri says it’s also due to the incredible community here in the Royal City. “I love New Westminster. It’s like a small village and people know each other and care about the community,” he says. “There’s so much loyalty and appreciation and support. I’m very happy to be a part of this area.”
In spring of 2019, the restaurant moved into new digs at the Quay, a space that is three times larger than their original location. It didn’t take long for the larger capacity to be just as busy as the smaller one.
“It’s been a blessing to be here, inside the beautiful River Market and next to the river,” he says. “It’s just so calming to see the water and to be able to enjoy a meal right here, and then go for a walk or do some shopping. It’s a wonderful location.”
In recent months, the restaurant hasn’t been as full as normal—but not due to demand, of course. “With COVID, we’ve had to make some changes and we’ve been able to adapt quickly,” he says. “When this started, we were one of the first in the industry to institute a safety plan even before the health department recommended it. I started doing half the capacity in March—nobody else was doing that. So we had a head start on creating a good safety plan,” he says.
“Our customers can see the distancing we’ve created and the protocols in place, and many have told us how much they appreciate what we’ve done.”
Missouri leads a team of more than 30, including chefs, servers, dishwashers and more. He says the group is close-knit and he strives to provide strong, supportive leadership.
“I started out in this business as a dishwasher and made my way up. I’ve managed and owned restaurants for 20 years, so I’ve worked in every part of a restaurant and understand the hard work my staff are doing,” he says. “I treat them like family members, because employees are the engine that make your business run. And I am hands on, every single day—if something needs to be done, doesn’t matter what it is, I’ll jump in and do it too.”
For more information, visit www.angelinasdutchcorner.ca.