Well, we've just survived our first event, a 4 day Christmas Market in Llandudno. It was certainly a steep learning curve with us going through everything for the first time. Some of the invaluable lessons were - don't forget to check the hatch is securely closed or it may open whilst you're driving!! Remember the butter if you plan to serve Hot Buttered Crumpets on your breakfast menu! Remember the eggs if you're going to serve Fried Egg Baps on your breakfast menu!
Above all however we learned that people appreciated us and really enjoyed the food we served. We had someone literally jumping for joy whilst eating Jackfruit for the first time. Another asked if he could order a batch of the Sprout & Chestnut soup for his family Christmas dinner! All the positive feedback has been amazing and a great boost to our confidence.
Thank you all you lovely people.
Today we popped down to the ExCel conference centre in London for the Street Food Live Expo 2017 on a fact finding mission. It was well worth the trip down. We came back with a sackful of ideas (and leaflets).
We got excited over bio-degradable packaging and learned a thing or two about outside catering from Jay Emery (owner of Bushman's Wood Fired Ovens). We also managed to spend £700 buying a LPG fueled 7kW generator but with a show discount of almost 50% it was too good of an offer to miss.
Today Julie and I went back to school to get all clued up about Food Safety. I know you can print a certificate off the internet but this full day course we went on was really interesting and gave us a greater understanding of what is expected from us.
The one statistic that shocked us wasn't that there's no such thing as the 3 second rule but that nearly 70% of all reported food poisoning is sourced back to outdoor catering at events. It made us realise how critical understanding food safety & food hygiene is to our business.
We need a logo. Something that would look equally as good painted on the side of the van as it would on an eco-friendly recycled paper bag.
My first idea was to try those "free" on-line logo makers. The results were ok but just so boring.
I then thought perhaps I could make one myself. I like to think of myself as being quite creative but I was lacking ideas.
My first attempt was a blatant use of a Vegemite label but would probably get me sued over copyright infringements!
Next I sought inspiration from Superman and came up with this veggie alternative.
I quite like the idea of being some veggie caped crusader!
It also passed the "do I liked enough to tattoo it on my arm" test so (for the time being at least) welcome to the new Veggieman Van logo!
Well, we thought long and hard about the name. No, honestly, we really did!
My original concept of "Bwyd. Byd. Bywyd." didn't exactly roll off tongue despite being Welsh and poetic and "Food. World. Life." (the English translation) sounded far too pretentious for a food van.
We needed something catchy, easy to remember. Julie has a talent for coming up with tabloid press headlines and so between us "The Veggieman Van" was born.
A quick google name-check came up with a Kenyan rapper called veggieman and a restaurant in Nuremberg but I'm sure there's room enough for all of us!
Well, I've only gone and done it. Taken the money and ran away to buy a food van with my redundancy.
It may always have been in our "plan" but now that it's been realised it's clear that I have no clue what I'm doing!
There's only one way to learn and that's to take the first step.
So here we go, fingers crossed, wish me luck and let the adventure begin!