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Let's Eat: Pinetree Catering

For nearly 10 years, Pinetree Catering has built their menus around local food and flavours

Pinetree Catering has been incorporating unique local foods of Thunder Bay to their menu since their inception.

Nikos Mantis started Pinetree Catering almost 10 years ago, in January of 2013, in his home basement. He always had an appetite for fine food but wanted to do something different than the traditional restaurant scene. Pinetree began as an event catering company. They bought a food truck known as Local Motion and started doing mobile street vending and catering services.

He is now co-owner with business partner Shawna Deagle, having gone to culinary school together. Shawna signed on as co-owner in 2015.

The Thunder Bay airport sought out Pinetree to fill the local food space needed for travellers arriving and departing from the airport.

“It was a several years process, they did end up selecting us as the candidate because of our history is supporting local foods, our foods are very much reflective of Thunder Bay and we promote Pinetree Catering as taste of place for Thunder Bay, our foods taste like Northwestern Ontario,” he says.

They created a retail food space in the airport — Nomad by Pinetree Catering — with packaged easy grab-and-go options for hungry travellers looking for a quick, high quality meal. 

The success of the grab-and-go format at the airport helped when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and business changed.

Nomad on Bay Street was opened as a response to the sudden impact of lockdowns.

“The bake shop and sandwich bar was born out of the pandemic, catering services ground to a halt, and we really had to do a major business pivot,” he says. “It was opened as a take out joint where people could get really great sandwiches, fresh bread. This enabled us to still employ our staff and provide really good food for Thunder Bay.”

Customers of Pinetree and Nomad have favourites that can only be found in this region, like pickerel tacos, incorporating fresh walleye, bannock, thunder oak cheese and local greens. Their menu is expansive and vibrant, which is a reflection of the experimental tastes of the people who live in Thunder Bay.

Pinetree’s catering service has had a resurgence in the last six months as gatherings have returned.

“Summer weddings are certainly the bread and butter of our catering operation. So at those were serving local beef, pork and local grilled vegetables. It’s homestyle, authentic cuisine that’s executed really, really well.”

They are working on curing and smoking meats for a new summer sausage, incorporating local beef and pork. They are continuously evolving from a culinary standpoint, so they are always rolling out new menus for their catering. 

Check their websites for more information about catering your next event, or grabbing a delicious loaf of bread, sandwich or pie from Nomad:

Pinetree Catering:
Nomad by Pinetree:

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