After their success selling specialty baked goods, Walter and Christa Lundrigan have seized the opportunity to become restaurateurs.
CORNER BROOK, N.L. – A new restaurant is hoping to help people eat more fat and get healthy doing it.
Walter and Christa Lundrigan have just started offering low-carbohydrate and keto-friendly food out of their newly opened restaurant in Corner Brook.
The Corner Restaurant opened on Tuesday this week at their location in the Hotel Corner Brook. It’s offering breakfast, lunch and supper options with a twist: Everything on the menu can be made low-carb.
A hamburger and fries can be made on a low-carb tortilla with turnip fries instead of potato. Their chili is made with edamame instead of kidney beans.
So far, the Lundrigans say they’ve had a positive response to their food.
“We sold out of our meatball subs last night. People have been telling us our hamburgers are really, really good,” said Christa.
Walter and Christa have been in the keto-friendly food business for some time now. The two have been producing and selling low-carb snacks and baked goods from their business Keto Corner.
With Walter doing the baking and Christa operating the business, the pair had been selling their goods to friends and colleagues as well as on social media.
When they saw an advertisement for a commercial kitchen and restaurant for rent, they hopped on the opportunity.
“It’s something we’ve talked about for a while,” said Walter.
“We didn’t want the opportunity to pass us, and leave us wondering what could have been,” said Christa.
“We’ve always been, ‘If it’s your passion in life, do it and don’t regret it.’”
Even with the current pandemic hindering many other small businesses, the Lundrigans say they’re willing to take on the risk of opening up shop.
“Our risk threshold is probably higher than most,” said Walter, laughing.
“Even in a pandemic, people still need to eat,” he said. “It’s not a business that’s going to go away.”
Eating for health
Walter first discovered the ketogenic diet when he was working as a teacher in Nunavut. He said the food scarcity up north was causing problems for him as a diabetic.
After learning about the ketogenic diet and practising intermittent fasting, Walter says that he has seen some drastic improvements in his health.
“I dropped my sugar levels, started losing weight, feeling better and more energetic. I kept with the lifestyle,” said Walter.
“I don’t take any meds for diabetes anymore. Some people call that reversed, some people call it cured, some people call it remission. I just say that I’m controlled now.”
Walter acknowledges that he is not a dietician or a doctor but believes strongly in the healing benefits of a ketogenic diet for people living with diabetes. Here in Newfoundland, he says, that’s an important consideration for people.
“We have the highest diabetes rate per capita in Canada,” he said.
According to Diabetes Canada in a February 2020 report, 34 per cent of Newfoundlanders are diabetic or prediabetic.
Walter and Christa hope to continue expanding their business to include diet and wellness consultation. They hope that through education they can help others to improve their health and live better.
Christa says that since she has adopted the ketogenic diet this year, she has experienced her own health benefits despite not being diabetic herself.
“I’m able to sleep better. I can sleep deeper and shorter,” she said, adding that better sleep allows her to wake up early for a 5 a.m. start in the kitchen.
The walls in the restaurant are currently bare, but the Lundrigans say they have a plan for the space.
“If there are local student artists, they can display their art right now for free,” said Christa.
The Lundrigans are calling for local artists to bring in their art for display in their new restaurant. They hope that their space can become a hub for other creators and artists in the area.
“The goal is to try to involve the community,” said Walter.
“We have Keto Corner, and we’re going to do artists’ corner, and crafter’s corner,” said Christa.
Right now, the two are running a tight operation, employing only one other person full-time and even having their children help out in the kitchen.
If all goes to plan, the Lundrigans say they hope to hire more staff in the future.