Dining With Denise Neil

Couple opens new food business as a way to keep daughter’s memory alive

Matthew and Tori Newby have just opened Nora’s Kitchen.
Matthew and Tori Newby have just opened Nora’s Kitchen.

Matthew and Tori Newby had been living in Costa Rica for five years while Matthew, an Augusta native, worked as a private chef for weddings, retreats music festivals.

But then, in May of last year, the couple’s first child — a daughter they named Nora — died during childbirth.

Everything changed.

“Obviously, it turned our lives upside down and made us want to return back to our families in Wichita,” said Tori an Andover native. “We wanted to do whatever we could to keep her memory alive in everything we do.”

Recently, the couple started their own business — a food truck they named Nora’s Kitchen after their daughter. They launched it a week ago.

The truck serves only “plant-based” food, which is the term for “vegan” that the Newbys prefer.

The truck, which they found and bought in Clay Center, has a bright blue nautical theme and is decorated with a light house and ocean waves. It also sports a Wichita flag.

The truck’s menu rotates but always serves sandwiches, soups and salads. Their opening-week menu included mushroom leek dumplings, and they’ve also served a sesame ginger salad with micro greens and pickled veggies.

“Our ingredients and produce and everything change to match the season,” Tori said. “It’s also based on what we can get from our local farmers markets.”

The couple has posted the truck’s schedule on its Facebook page. It regularly appears at the Firefly Farmers Market, 15615 E. 21st St. North. They also regularly park at the Thursday Farmers Market at the Robert J. Dole VA, 5500 E. Kellogg.

They’ve also joined the Wichita Food Truck Coalition and hope to start appearing in the rotation at the Wichita pop-up parks as well.

The couple is excited not only about their new truck, Tori said, but also about another addition to their lives.

Son Ellison was born three weeks ago.

FILE VIDEO -- Food truck owners Shea West and Rochelle Collins of Kind Kravings, a mobile vegan restaurant in a refurbished double-decker bus, complete with upstairs seating. (Video by Denise Neil with photography by Jimmy Vo/March 29, 2017)

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