Cara Buswell, a native to south Lewis county purchased a permanent location called "Good Stuff Food Cart and Catering." She has been in the hospitality business for a couple of decades and decided she wanted a more permanent location.
Cara started in the hospitality business by working in restaurants, bars, and casinos. She also managed a 5-star fishing resort in Alaska. After working for others for many years, Cara decided to go on her own and be independent. It was after a long conversation with her Gramps (grandfather) Anor Buswell that she made the change.
In 2014, Cara was visiting her Gramps who was very ill at the time. One night he woke up and said, "What are you doing here? Go home. You work so hard. Why don't you start a business from scratch like my brother and I." Her grandfather passed on Christmas Eve 2014. Losing a grandparent can change your life, Cara put everything on the back burner after he passed so she could travel.
In July 2016, she followed her grandfather's wishes, and she started a business. She knew her Gramps wanted her to do her own thing, that idea never left her mind. She purchased a cool vintage Aloha travel trailer that was a food cart conversion. For a year, Cara and her food cart went out to the fair and festival circuit, where she harnessed her inner carnie (carnival spirit). It was on her way to a festival that the frame bent on her Aloha, so she parked it in 2018.
Even though the food cart was down, Cara was not. She went on the Farmers Market circuit, shortly thereafter she began catering. Then, in an effort to reconnect with her previous clients and community she decided to move to a permanent location. She had to wait for almost a year for the new septic, she paid rent while it was being put in place, but she was not open.
Then, in March 2020, she finally got the septic system approval to open and COVID hit. The same week she could open was the same week that the state ordered citizens to stay home. It was a tough time to open a business. Cara decided her food could help people stay positive. She provides healthy options for people, ethnic foods, and good ole American cooking. She offers a unique perspective to those who want to try something different. It also gives Cara the ability to try new and exciting food, she definitely has a love of food and a love to serve.
Cara is well-rooted in the area. She graduated from Winlock High School in 2000. Her parents are Bob and Ranae Buswell and her sister is Katie. Her friends have influenced her as well as her family. She lived in the big city, but she knew she wanted to come back to her community and provide healthy, unique, and good old fashioned cooking. During the season, she cooks from farm to food cart to your table. Supporting local farmers and the community is very important to her.
Cara has food cart hours, which means she is open Friday - Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 pm. She offers freezer meals and other options. She offers Gyro's, Po' Boys sandwiches, and fish tacos. Her menu has over 20 items from different food choices, to smoothies, espresso, and homemade soups. Her sauces are all from scratch. As Cara stated, "I have soups and sandwiches from around the world." She is located at the Vader Exit at 196 Cowlitz Loop, and can be reached at 360-864-8660.
Cara stated about opening up during COVID, "These are trying times for our community. I am both proud and impressed by the resiliency of the hospitality industry. Seeing how these businesses have adapted to the kindness and support of the community is nothing short of amazing to me. I am honored to be one of many that serve you." And by her attitude and love of food, she is more than honored, it is her passion!