Photo by Liam Higgins | Burger Pawty at the Mimp Mag Spring Issue Release party
If there are two things we can’t get enough of at Mimp, it’s girl power and all things pink! Our August cover girl, Louise Mangalino, truly knows how to channel both.
This gorgeous girl boss has been active on her burger blog, BURGERS AND BARBIE$, since 2010 and has since recently created something I’ve heard described as, “literally the best thing ever” (I have to agree wholeheartedly).
Burger Pawty, a fun and feminine burger pop-up event and service, was founded in the summer of 2015, by Louise Mangalino and Jessica Lagman.
Photo of Louise by Andreya Klobucar | Hoodie + Chocker by Untitled&Co.
While on her burger blogging adventures, Louise noticed that the business of burgers seemed to be generally marketed toward men: “I understand burgers aren’t “gender-specific,” but I had yet to try a pink burger!” Louise said.
While sitting at an awards ceremony for the Junior Achievement Company Program in May 2015, the passion and determination, demonstrated by the high school students, inspired Louise to realize her own dream of hosting a burger pop up event.
“The burgers I had reviewed on my blog were delicious (for the most part),” Louise said. “But I wanted to create something unique, fun and cute… for people like me who wanted to see something different.”
Photo by Liam Higgins | (Left to right) Louise and Jessica at the Mimp Mag Spring Issue Release party
With only one chef in mind who had experience with pop up events, Louise texted former co-founder, Jessica Lagman, to set up a meeting up to discuss the idea of the event. The duo knew they wanted it to be a female collaborative event including a female chef (Jessica), female blogger (Louise), female DJ, female vendors and female artists -- And the guest list would be open to all!
“We just wanted to show the city what two girl bosses were capable of doing, and I believe we did just that!” Louise said.
So what does Burger Pawty Mean to Louise?
“To me, Burger Pawty represents girl power. It’s a celebration of women and the power they possess. It’s a celebration and testament to all women: for their talent, their art, and for simply being.”
The first Burger Pawty helped Louise realize that, despite the large amount of work involved in producing such an event, what she set out to do was attainable. “I thrive off of the challenge,” Louise said. “It represents something fun, new and exciting in the food industry.”
If you haven’t noticed already, this isn’t your average catering company. With every new Burger Pawty, comes the introduction of a new burger created specifically for the brands with which Burger Pawty collaborates! There is always something new to look forward to.
Being a #GirlBoss does come with struggles, including living life as a balancing act, which proves difficult when trying to squeeze everything into a single schedule.
“On a regular, I have to juggle a full time day job, volunteering, softball, boot camp, spending QT with my boyfriend, family and friends, on top of Burger Pawty duties,” Louise said. “Since I am currently running the company solo (aka the HBIC – Head Barbie in Charge), I am responsible for the menu, social media, marketing, branding, website upkeep, managing staff, responding to emails, operations and finance, to name a few... I do it all!”
How does the ‘Head Barbie In Charge’ stay inspired?
Lousie: “I’d have to say that my inspirations are quite eclectic: they range from Beyoncé to Marilyn Monroe to Barbie (of course). I admire strong, unique women who’ve set a benchmark within their respective industries.
Although Barbie is obviously a fictional character, she has been my very first role model as a child, despite how Barbies and the Barbie lifestyle are reflected in the media. To me, Barbies represent a fun, carefree and creative outlook on life… and it doesn’t hurt that the theme surrounding the brand is pink. Not only that, but Barbies have been released in different career roles, such as a teacher, an astronaut, a doctor and even a president! It helps inspires young girls (and even grown women like me) to reach for the stars.
On a more personal level, some very important people in my life have taught me some great life lessons: my grandmother taught me never to be envious and to appreciate what you have; my mother taught me to always stick up for myself, no matter who the opposition is; and my father taught me to always be honest in everything I do.”
A strong believer in fate, Louise said she would not change a thing if offered to start her brand over again. “Every obstacle served as a learning experience and I feel like that’s the best way you can improve yourself: by learning from your mistakes.”
Let’s talk burgers!
Louise: “My all-time favourite item on the menu has got to be The Barbie Burger, for sure! Why else – because it’s pink! When the brainstorming session was underway for the burgers to represent our brand, there was no question that a pink burger was going to be made.”
The Barbie Burger, Burger Pawty’s signature pink burger, is composed of a hand pressed beef patty, a slice of sharp, white cheddar cheese, a drizzle of sesame mayo, topped with pickled shallots and crushed pork rinds. If that doesn’t sound divine, the menu also includes a delicious vegetarian option AND an ice cream and cotton candy dessert burger! I’m drooling just thinking about it!
What’s with all the pink?
Louise: “Well, it’s my favourite colour, of course! Funny enough, I used to hate pink as a child. One day in grade 7, my mom bought me an all-pink outfit, and I wore it to school one day and everyone complimented me on my outfit and how well pink suited me. Since then, I became obsessed with the colour!”
How’s the pink burger business doing, you may ask?
Louise: “Burger Pawty was intended to be a one day only event to showcase all the girl power the city had to offer, but as soon as the first Burger Pawty wrapped up, the emails started trickling in.
Since then, we have had two other Burger Pawties, have catered events for NYX, Fancy Pufs and a TIFF screening after party, catered a charity event for breast cancer, have appeared as a vendor in local Toronto markets, and even catered the Mimp Magazine Spring Launch Party. Burger Pawty has definitely come a long way, and I don’t see the end of it all anytime soon.”
Photo by Liam Higgins | Louise chillin at the Mimp Magazine Spring Issue Release party
Since Burger Pawty does not currently have a store location to call home, and due to other obligations to tend to, Burger Pawty still remains a part time gig for Louise.
But the future is looking pretty pink!
Burger Pawty has received requests to cater a variety of occasions such as birthday parties, bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, pop up markets, launch parties and corporate events, to name a few. “If you’re looking for something unique, fun and tasty for your next event, I’m your gal!” said Louise. “Ideally, I would love to open up a shop of my own, but for now that’s just a dream. But hey, the idea of a burger pop up was once a dream of mine, and look where Burger Pawty is now. Never say never.”
What is it that makes Burger Pawty so special?
Lousie: “Although Burger Pawty appeals to a niche market, it undoubtedly has a following of both males and females alike. What draws people to the Burger Pawty is universal: the love of burgers. If you love a good burger and a good aesthetic, Burger Pawty is for you.”