BREMERTON — Willie Mae Sharpe moved to Bremerton two weeks ago after accepting a position as the minister of music at Emmanuel Apostolic Church on Sixth Street in Bremerton.
But she didn’t just bring her music with her. She’s also offering the blessed offerings of Southern comfort food to Kitsap Peninsula, delivered from a food truck.
On Feb. 8, the grand opening celebration for Wiley’s Home Cooking food truck will kick off.
Wiley’s, named after Sharpe’s grandmother, will serve “a twist on comfort dishes,” Sharpe said.
“Like the typical grilled cheese,” she said. “We have this thing called the Texas-sized grilled cheese. It’s two inches thick.”
It also comes with pulled pork, caramelized onions and more on top.
“We also have this thing called the Southern taco. It’s grilled fish filet with collard green slaw, roasted vegetables, okra salsa and cornbread croutons,” she added. “That’s the kind of food we do.”
Sharpe relocated to Bremerton from Houston to be Emmanual Apostolic’s minister of music. She studied cooking at the Art Institute but said she really learned how to cook from her grandmother — which is why her food truck is named after her.
“I’ve been doing it since 2006, and I’ve got to say the thing I love most about it is, I get to do what I love: cook,” she said. “I meet people from all over the world with my truck. I’ve met people from Japan and Europe. I love meeting people, I love hearing their stories and I love watching them enjoy my food.”
Currently, the plan is for the truck to be parked at the corner of Sixth Street and Naval Avenue in Bremerton, though as of Jan. 31, that hadn’t yet been finalized. Updated information can be found on the food truck’s Facebook page, goo.gl/MI050a.
The grand opening event is doubly special, as well: it’s Sharpe’s 50th birthday (though she’s really turning 26, she said).
“We want to do this big grand opening for my birthday,” Sharpe said. “New city, new location, new job. We want to just really blow it up. We’ll have balloons and make it a real huge celebration for my 50th.”
Apart from her food truck, Sharpe also runs a catering business, the Chef Psalmist Catering (www.chefpsalmist.com), with a different menu. Through that, they do lunches, private dinners, parties, etc. She said people in Kitsap County are already expressing interest in that side of her business.
“My Facebook page has been blowing up,” she said. “I’ve got over 200 likes already. I’ve gotten several inquiries for my catering services. We’ve only been here two weeks, but we’ve got a lot of excitement. I’ve got a couple people that are interested in me catering their weddings with my food truck.”
But for Sharpe, the best part about moving to Bremerton isn’t the idea of relocating her business — it’s the people.
“I have met the friendliest people in the world (in Bremerton),” she said. “I told my friends about it. I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone. Everybody is so warm and welcoming. I should’ve moved her years ago.
“The people are just wonderful here,” Sharpe added. “They have been so supportive and helpful. I have not lacked for anything. They have just been amazing to me.”
Wiley’s Home Cooking will have its grand opening event starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the corner of Sixth Street and Naval Avenue. (Location is subject to change — visit goo.gl/MI050a for updated information.)
“Come and experience traditional comfort dishes with a twist,” Sharpe said. “The portions are huge. I think they’ll really enjoy the food. There’s nothing else in this market like what we’re offering.”