Nashan and Craft could have worked anywhere in the country, but “these chefs were choosing to be here,” Loryn Nalic said in a phone interview. A longtime St. Louis resident who owns Balkan Treat Box with her husband, Edo, Nalic said she has seen the restaurant scene broaden over the years from home-style cooking to more upscale restaurants worth traveling for. Nalic’s food truck serves Bosnian and other Balkan-inspired street food, a nod to the large population of Bosnians that began settling in St. Louis in the 1990s.
By Nalic’s accounts, the city’s culinary scene has moved away from its once insular and competitive feel. “We’re a cool, badass, supportive city, and we love it and want it to be better — and the only way we know how to do it is to be on each others’ side and build it up together,” she said.
Nalic, who will open a permanent location for Balkan Treat Box in the coming months, said a lot went wrong leading up to her food truck’s launch and credited the food community for helping her team bootstrap the business. “We would not be open had it not been for our local food scene,” she added.