She’s 19 and Homegrown food truck owner

Wiese’s eatery serves fresh fare, locally sourced seafood steeped in family tradition

Heidi Wiese stands at the door of her food truck and new business, Homegrown, located at the Breakwater Fill Lot in Cordova on Friday, July 13, 2018. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Homegrown, a food truck offering homemade meals by owner Heidi Wiese, is the latest addition to the Breakwater Fill Lot, where families come to see fishermen off and watch bowpickers safely returning home.

Meals by Wiese, a 2017 graduate of Cordova Jr./Sr. High School, feature locally sourced fish from 60° North Seafoods, that Wiese gets from her cousin John Derek Wiese, co-owner of 60° North.

“I don’t know what I’d do without all the help that this town has given me,” Wiese, 19, said. “From … Dixie’s (Cheshire, a longtime family friend) little note to … John Derek just stopping by and asking me if I need anything. My Aunt Diane has helped me with countless things, even recipes.”

Homegrown owner Heidi Wiese cooks biscuits and gravy for a customer on Friday, July 13, 2018. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Wiese spent the morning of July 13 cooking breakfast for customers as songs by country singer Kenny Chesney played from speakers. Handwritten notes of encouragement and congratulations hung on the wall next to the stove.

“This pot was my grandma Marion’s (Wiese),” Wiese said while stirring vegetables in the orange cast iron pot. “It was hers, then my dad’s and now mine. So … I just love that it’s passed down and I don’t know how many meals have been cooked in that thing.”

What started as an idea her senior year of high school has turned into a flourishing business that opened on May 8.

“I didn’t want to go to college and there was just not a lot of options that I really wanted to pursue and then the ones that I did want to pursue, you know, you have to have some kind of money to start up,” she said. “This could lead me somewhere else. I could … invest in something different.”

Heidi Wiese cooks out of her food truck and new business, Homegrown, on Friday, July 13, 2018. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Wiese has already begun looking into the future of Homegrown, with plans to expand her business, but for now, she enjoys the simplicity of the quaint food truck.

“Every morning I come here and Laura’s always there … so you know all day, we’re back and forth and she brings me coffee and I bring her food,” Weise said of friend and The Jump barista, Laura Appleton.

Homegrown’s menu offers breakfast smoothie bowls, biscuits and gravy, breakfast sandwiches and burritos. Lunch options include, tacos, salads, sandwiches and burgers.

Wiese orders her produce from Anchorage or Seattle, but because of the time and expense, she said she eventually wants to source all of her produce locally.

Children ran around the lot as the morning breakfast rush subsided, and a young boy ran up to the food truck.

“Do you make strawberry smoothies?” he asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

The child quickly reached out his hands and asked if she could use his tiny, bright red, freshly-picked strawberries.

She smiled and scooped up the berries and began making his smoothie.

“I think it’s like a way … to meet people,” Wiese said of small businesses in Cordova. “It’s a way to bring income into this town which is kind of needed. I think it’s just the people that make it go ‘round.”

Homegrown is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Call in orders to 907-429-8811.

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Emily Mesner is a staff reporter and photographer for The Cordova Times. Reach her at Emily graduated from Central Michigan University, earning a degree in photojournalism with a cultural competency certificate. She first visited Alaska in 2016, working as a media intern for the National Park Service in Kotzebue and Denali National Park and Preserve, and has been coming back ever since. To see more photos, follow @thecordovatimes and @emilymesnerphoto on Instagram.