Lulu’s Apron

Lulu’s Apron is a local catering business located on the beautiful Salt Spring Island of the coast of Vancouver Island. 

Chef Danya Smith grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, where their household’s three main ingredients were family, friends and good food. Blessed to have parents who loved to travel (and took her with them!), Danya was exposed to a world of flavours at an early age. While her friends watched cartoons, Danya focused on the Food Network. Her cooking skills blossomed in her Grandma Lulu’s kitchen, starting with Saturday soup and Sunday brunch. By the time she was 10, she was making coquilles saint jacques and phyllo-wrapped chèvre for family dinners.

Danya moved to the BC coast in 2011 and, despite a valiant effort to follow her dad in a science career, could not resist her culinary calling. She was formally trained in Calgary, Alberta and was inspired to start her own business after an internship with one of Canada’s most recognized female chefs. After graduating at the top of her class she spent an exciting year working in and tasting her way around Europe. She returned to the coast – this time to Salt Spring Island – because of the abundance of year-round fresh ingredients and to savour the island lifestyle once more (cooler climate notwithstanding).

Danya is the chef and owner of Lulu’s Apron. Bold flavours, beautiful colours, and new taste sensations are her passion. “We believe food is love. From mother’s first milk to grandma’s homemade soup, food is how we connect and show love for others. Lulu’s Apron was born out of a desire to create and share our love of fresh bold flavours, to help you make beautiful memories and lasting connections. Our passion lies in creating foods that play on your palate: a sweet note here… a hint of savoury there… the perfect amount of heat… We make everything – and we mean EVERYTHING – from scratch using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and bucketloads of love. We live, breathe, create (and eat!) great food and we are committed to exceeding your culinary expectations.”

Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?

Answer: We work hard to ensure our business choices circulate locally. As a catering business, our menu has a lot of room for change, and try to purchase produce that is in season here in B.C., so that we do not need to shop elsewhere. We do our accounting here on Salt Spring with Stanley Laing Accounting, our banking and financials with Island Savings, and business consulting with Storycoaching based in Victoria, B.C. We often use the local commercial kitchen on Salt Spring. Our waste management is done through Salt Spring Garbage Services

For suppliers, most of our produce is from Duck Creek Farm on Salt Spring. Our meat is from Village Butcher and our seafood is from Finest at Sea in Victoria. Our dairy is Canadian.

Question: What social and environmental practices are you proud of?

Answer: We are very conscious about where we are sourcing our ingredients. For example, our seafood is all wild-caught to do our part in supporting sustainable fishing practices. In the kitchen, we find ways to reduce our waste when we can. If we have leftover produce, we put in the time to pickle and jar it so we can use it later. We use left-over produce to make into vegetable stock and leftover chicken scraps and bones, which we use to make chicken stock. Any produce we can’t use, we compost. We support causes we feel are close to our hearts, specifically, supporting the Black community. We also participated in a fundraiser to support those impacted by the most recent Bahamas hurricane. We pay our staff well above living wage with $30/hour for servers. 

Woman Owned, Persons of Colour

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