It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon in Quebec’s Lower Westmount, an enclave of Montreal. Mandy Wolfe is at the home of her sister, Rebecca Wolfe, and they’re making their namesake salad, The Wolfe (which, by the way, is more than just the scrumptious sum of its crisp carrot, creamy avocado and peppery arugula parts). It’s an inside peek at the incredible bond that led this entrepreneurial duo to found Mandy’s, the runaway-success salad business that launched at the back of a Montreal women’s clothing store in 2004 and now boasts eight locations in the city, as well as one on Toronto’s Ossington strip.
“We really inspire each other,” says Mandy, who is the chef behind the bowls, while Rebecca designs the brand’s gloriously vibrant and prettily patterned eateries. “Becca makes everyone feel like they can do anything. And where I’m extra in food, Becca is extra in design.” Not that you’d know it from Rebecca’s quiet white kitchen. “Calm and peace are really important to me at home,” she says. “Both of us have kids under 10, and I have a dog, so there’s inevitable chaos in the kitchen. This minimalist backdrop gives me a sense of serenity.”
When the sisters get together now, it’s not under the pressure of the hectic grind that built the business; rather, it’s about making leisurely, fun meals for each other and their families – something that’s in step with the bond that started it all as well as Mandy’s approach to food. Or, as she puts it, “Cooking for someone is just a way of saying ‘I love you,’ is it not?”