Growing up, “Nai Nai Mie” is what Cat Lee-Hannley used to reply to her parents whenever they asked what she wanted to eat. “Nai Nai” meant Grandma (on her father’s side), and “Mie” referred to noodles.
She loved her Grandma’s Noodles.
Nai Nai Mie—”Grandma’s Noodles”—have a very special place in Cat’s heart.
Her childhood summers were spent at grandma’s house – which also happened to be one of the best noodle shops in the city of Medan, Indonesia.
Cat’s grandparents lived above their street-front noodle shop and served fresh, handmade, delicious noodle dishes each day. Every morning, she remembers watching grandpa turn mountains of flour and other ingredients into rivers of noodles, using a bamboo pole to knead the dough to get that perfect bouncy texture. What a beautiful way she describes this memory too!
Cat’s grandparents’ noodles brought her comfort and joy. Now she’s bringing that to you!
At the end of April 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, Cat launched Nai Nai Mie, an Edmonton-based online noodle shop selling the same family recipes she grew up eating—homemade hugs in a bowl.
The from-scratch noodles, her grandma’s recipe. The sauces, her mom’s recipe.
But it’s not just the recipes though that are a family affair.
Nai Nai Mie involves the entire family. Cat’s dad and brother make the noodles from scratch. Her mom weighs and portions noodles for each order. In fact both mom and dad were semi-retired before agreeing to join Cat in making her noodle dreams come true. Cat helps with making sauces and packaging, and really, the entire business operation including marketing!—which is how I learned about Nai Nai Mie.
Cat reached out to see if we could work together to share Nai Nai Mie’s story.
I got to try some of the delicious noodle bowls (it brought me tons of comfort and joy!), and even got to see how the noodles are made—behind-the-scenes action in the industrial prep kitchen they rent in St. Albert.
As of writing this post, Nai Nai Mie offers three noodle bowls: Chicks on Shrooms ($13.50), Hot Chicks ($13.50), or Chunky Moo ($18.00). I’m a big fan of the Hot Chicks (it does get quite spicy!!)
But they’re all great because the star of all the bowls are the made-from-scratch noodles.
Ingredients in the bowls come frozen and include instructions on how to put your Nai Nai Mie bowl together. The family have created specific portions and process for recreating the perfect bowl at home.
Each Nai Nai Mie bowl comes with the noodles, sauces, garlic oil, steamed veggies, and a special crunchy topping that adds texture (and takes your noodle flavour to another level).
Everything is separated so you can mix and prepare the noodles according to their simple steps. They actually pay more for biodegradable, eco-friendly packaging—though they recognize there’s maybe too many packets involved and are looking to see how they can streamline this.
You can choose to add-on vegetables, hot stuff, or crunchies (my friend Jessie suggested this and they were happy to oblige! Nice part about operating a nimble, start-up, so if you’ve got some noodle ideas, let them know!), and they are working on an extra meat option that doesn’t throw the balance of everything else off (if I had one complaint about the noodle bowl it was that I wanted more meat, lol but everything else was excellent). You can also order noodles in a party pack or get the noodles on their own (they are good in your freezer for up to six months!)
Currently, Nai Nai Mie delivers in Edmonton (Wednesdays + Thursdays) and Calgary (Thursdays).
The delivery fee for Edmonton is $10 for orders under $50, $5 for orders between $50-$75 or free for orders over $75. For Calgary, delivery fee is $15 for orders under $100, $7.5 for orders between $100-$150 or free for orders over $150. What most people have been doing is getting friends to go in on a group order to get the free delivery (smart!) You can also waive delivery fees by doing local pick-up.
Group noodle orders anyone?!?!?! :)
It’s been a busy few months of business for Cat and her family. They’ve been really happy with the response they’ve received (in both cities—and she’s been fielding requests for deliveries in Vancouver and Toronto too!) Cat doesn’t have a professional culinary background.
She just loves to eat and loved to eat her Grandma’s Noodles. It’s been heartwarming to share a “homemade hug in a bowl” she felt eating Nai Nai Mie, to Albertans through this new venture.
Sometimes you talk to new business owners who are quite content doing what they’re doing (and that’s great!). Other times, you talk to people like Cat, who has big plans to grow!
Cat hopes to take Nai Nai Mie across Canada.
While they started with direct to customer, she’s hoping Nai Nai Mie can get into grocery stores (since everything freezes so well), and eventually into restaurants—so she could sell Grandma’s Noodles to restaurants and leave it up to those chefs to come up with the toppings and sauces.
It’s exciting to think about where Grandma’s Noodles might go. They’ve already travelled so far—from Indonesia to Edmonton, to who knows where next.
If you’d like to try Nai Nai Mie, get 10% off by using my code LINDORK, on orders through their online shop made before July 31, 2020.
You can also subscribe to my email newsletter before July 15 for a chance to enter a newsletter subscriber-exclusive giveaway of two Nai Nai Mie noodle bowls of your choice!
- Subscribe to Lindork’s Lists (my hyper-local weekly newsletter where I suggest things to do, food to eat, Instagrammable Walls to visit, social media tips and more!)
Congratulations and good luck with your exciting new business.
Disclaimer: This blog post is part of a sponsored partnership with Nai Nai Mie. This has no impact on opinions stated in this post. I love food (especially noodles), and highlighting local businesses! I wish Nai Nai Mie so much success and can’t wait to order more noodz from them.