Knowing Your Neighbors: Nanay’s Kitchen Bringing Filipino Food to the Northland

Gnesen Convenience Store on Rice Lake Road is more than just your everyday local gas station

DULUTH, Minn. – Gnesen Convenience Store on Rice Lake Road is more than just your everyday local gas station. It’s also the home for authentic Filipino food.

Beth Canete, owner of Nanay’s Kitchen, got her start by selling egg rolls and empanadas.

Soon after, she would host a fundraiser for the Philippines disaster relief after super typhoon Haiyan hit in 2003 where she raised almost $10,000.

The response to that event was remarkable which pushed her to start up her own pop-up restaurant, but she wasn’t thinking it would get the feedback it has received.

“Yah know, it’s very flattering, and to be honest with you, I never expected this to be going this far.”

The menu includes the American version of pork and chicken egg rolls, stir-fried noodles and white rice.

But, it’s the different variety she wanted to the bring to the Northland.

“And with the market though, don’t get me wrong, it was tough. Introducing something that people especially here in the Northland don’t know what Filipino is. They know Chinese but Filipino food is very distinct.”

Canete, who has children still in school, wants to keep something like this small because of the relationships she develops on a daily basis.

“I don’t want to get big to be honest. I don’t want a restaurant. I want more personal with my client. I like the one-on-one thing. I think I find it way more personal.”

The restaurant is open Friday’s and Saturday’s and she is hoping to expand her hours this summer.

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