Hesquiaht man boasts best poutine in Port Alberni – Mr. Chips is open for business

Denise Titian, July 31, 2020
Port Alberni, BC — 

He’s worked in pretty much every restaurant in Port Alberni and now William Ambrose III is living his dream; he has opened up his own food truck.

Ambrose began working in a fish plant at the age of 16 and didn’t like it. He did like cooking with his father, William Ambrose II. “I was about 12 when my father started teaching me to cook,” Ambrose recalled. “He told me women love a good cook,” he chuckled.

He began working as a dishwasher and prep cook in many different restaurants in Port Alberni including Golden Dragon and Swale Rock. He went on to complete a one-year culinary arts program at North Island College.

“I’ve always wanted to do something on my own,” he said, “not necessarily to provide for them but to give them something to look up to,” he shared. He says his sister Christina Williams wanted to help him for a couple of reasons. One, she wanted to have something set aside for her daughter and two, she enjoys her brother’s food.

Ambrose, a married father of five, was able to secure an investment from his sister to lease a food trailer from a resort in Qualicum. “This is a stepping stone toward buying on next year,” said Ambrose, who said NEDC will be assisting him in making the purchase.

His menu is limited, featuring various types of poutine. “My top sellers are chili cheese fries and classic poutine,” says Ambrose. He shared that he perfected his gravy recipe after experimenting at the many family dinners he prepared. “I didn’t forget that recipe when they told me it was the best,” he said

“I have been getting nothing but good reviews and they say I have the best gravy in town,” said Ambrose.

Mr. Chips had a soft opening in early July at its temporary on 5th Avenue just off of Redford Street. But there were issues with the location and the trailer had to be moved.

“There’s city bylaws and only a handful of places that a food truck can go in Port Alberni,” said Ambrose. After a few weeks of down time he managed to reach an agreement with the City of Port Alberni and will open Mr. Chips at the Clutesi Haven Marina on River Road beginning July 31 for the remainder of the summer.

For up to date hours of operation look up Mr. Chips on Facebook.

Ambrose plans to operate Monday to Saturday beginning 11:00 a.m. He is closed Sundays.

Mr. Chips accepts cash and debit.