COTTONWOOD?- All summer on Tuesdays and Thursdays Laurie "LouBa" Kuyper brings her lunchwagon to the beach by Lake Cottonwood for the lunch hours and in the evening as she has for 28 years.
The beach on Lake Cottonwood is directly across the street from an industrial park, and there are no restaurants open for lunch in town.
"I also do town events, auctions, street dances and all over," Kuyper said. "I've even been to Sturgis (for the yearly motorcycle rally)."
Photo by Steve Browne
Robert and Elaine Mohn stop by LouBa’s Lunchwagon on their way out of town on a trip up north recently. Laurie “LouBa” Kuyper has run her lunchwagon for 28 years.
Kuyper, nicknamed LouBa by a child who couldn't pronounce "Laurie," also works in home health three to five days a week.
"I used to work a mobile canteen for the Salvation Army in Denver for disasters, floods and stuff," Kuyper said. "I thought there's got to be a way to make a living at this."
Steven Fenger comes across the street from his job at Extreme Panels to order a cheeseburger.
"I eat here at least twice a week," Fenger said. "I'd say for at least the last 10 years. Food's good, otherwise I wouldn't come back. Quick too."
Kuyper used to use step vans when she got into the business but found it was easier to put the mobile kitchen into a trailer and haul it with a pickup truck, though this past Tuesday she was using a van.
"I keep very busy during the summer," Kuyper said, "I've had two days off this month. You've got to get it while the getting's good. During winter I do auctions and catering. I get a lot of farmers these days, getting something to take into the fields."
Robert and Elaine Mohn recently stopped by for lunch on their way out of town.
"We were passing by and I said, 'Oh LouBa's here!'" Elaine Mohn said. "We'll eat here instead of Hardee's."
Robert Mohn said they'd been customers as long as Kuyper has been in business.
"It's been a fun business," Kuyper said. "I hope the next 28 years are just as much fun."