The tale of Mad Mango

It might be considered one of Kelowna local’s best kept secrets – but that may be all about to change.

Located on Bernard and St. Paul Street, Mad Mango Cafe is always busy, with its daily stream of Laksa loving customers who never fully fit inside the small restaurant. 

Everyone from the business crowd to families try to squeeze into the little restaurant, and it’s that constant lineup that grabbed two local filmmakers attention.

Chelsea McEvoy and Isaac Balson have been fans of Mad Mango for years, but over the past 12 months the two got an inspiring idea to tell the story of this little lunch location and the women behind it.

“It might be that place you walk by and you don’t think anything of, but when you go in it, it is the place you have to eat if you’re in Kelowna…. it’s that feeling you get when you go inside,” says McEvoy.

Balson describes it as what looks to be a typical hole in the wall, but is actually what he believes to be the best hole in the wall restaurant.

“We are just huge, huge Mad Mango fans. It’s a huge part of the community and no one really knows anything about the owners,” says Balson.

The two will make this documentary about much more than the restaurant's famous Laksa, they intend to focus on Pat – the owner and operator for more than 10 years.

Since they started telling people they were making a movie about Pat, everyone claimed to know exactly who she was. She's memorable because she always remembers their name when they stop in for lunch.

“She knows half the people in town by first name, yet nobody knows any of her story, so that is what we wanted to tell,” explains Issac.

McEvoy sees Pat as a local celebrity, who has a huge heart and a cool story.

“She is an angel that is the best way to describe it. After our first interview with her we thought, 'Wow this woman is so giving and thoughtful and honourable and I think she deserves all the recognition in the world'."

With a four and a half star rating on TripAdvisor, Mad Mango dishes up everything from Asian cuisine to breakfast.

In the film, Pat expresses the importance of the quality of food she serves, ensuring she provides fresh and good ingredients to her customers at an affordable price.

“It is a good place to go to get that experience, or if you are looking for a little love that day you’ll definitely get it as well,” says McEvoy.

McEvoy and Balson are doing this on their own dime and on their own time. Any proceeds from the movie will go to feeding the community in Kelowna. Balson is also writing and recording original music for the piece.

The documentary will be released later this winter on YouTube.


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