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Summerland entrepreneur gets into Bootlegger business

Swanky lawlessness during the Gatsby era is what inspired Summerland’s newest eatery.

Mike Boersma – who also runs Granny's Fruit Stand, Bakery, Cafe – was looking for a new venture to keep busy during the summer months. So he decided to combine his love of cooking with his fascination for the vintage theme and create Bootleggers Bistro, which found a home beside Back Door Winery on Highway 97. 

The bistro may seem small, but thanks to the nearby prep space at Granny’s, the Bootlegger menu is able to offer pizzas, paninis and pies from scratch.

For anybody interested in pairing his creations with the wine from Back Door, he recommends a slice of the “Sweet Ride” Roman-style street pizza – topped with pesto, caramelized onions, brie, and ripe pear – to be enjoyed with a hot-weather wine, like a bubbly rosé.

Image Credit: SUBMITTED

Although Boersma's menu doesn't offer anything illegal, he still embraces the bootlegger life. 

“When you’re self-employed and you gotta find your own way, you have to be creative – you have to be aware of the rules and follow them the best you can, but you also have to work your way around some rules that don’t always seem necessary,” he said.

Boersma has always appreciated the underground economy because of his "bootlegger baker" grandfather, who hustled bread in the Netherlands many decades ago. So he decided his new bistro would romanticize the prohibition era.

“All the guys running the liquor illegally, having to get the people the booze even though they’re not supposed to have it but they want it – there’s a cool nostalgic vibe to it... "I’m not about to be selling my homemade hooch yet though."

The bistro is open daily from noon until 5 p.m.

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