Based on the title you probably have some expectations here, so let me address that: You are better off trading at events than just pitching up in a lay-by. Street food, despite the name, is not especially common randomly by the side of the road. It’s something a lot of new starters will have to learn the hard way, but now you know.

The Jabberwocky, parked up and trading in the road.

Here’s us, trading by the side of the road. Just to mess with your mind.

How about another. Just to keep you keen. Vacuum-packing fresh produce will extend shelf life by weeks. It’s a miracle tool that doesn’t come with the downsides of freezing. Just remember the all important rule: Your vac-packing machine can either be used for raw meat or cooked, never both. Cross-contamination folks. Don’t do it.

So now we’re all listening I can explain. There may be more further down. Also possibly a test. Can you do that on a blog? We’ll find out.

Right from the start the blog has been about setting up a street food business. Initially this was because I thought it would make an interesting story. Since adding the post about starting a street food business people have started to find us because they are planning to get in on the alfresco goodness, so we have shifted focus more onto actually helping people get out there and sell food.

At various points we have wondered if giving people all this potentially valuable information is either sensible or worthwhile. Technically every new street food seller is more competition, another chance for the market to be cluttered with uninspiring, directly competing or potentially hazardous food. My reasoning is that if we promote good practise then hopefully others will get on board with that and we can all make an industry with a good reputation. So far so good. People have asked questions, left comments and been generally positive. I think we’re doing our bit. I like the writing, people seem to like reading, and therefore, by a process of elimination, we’re all winners.

There is a point at which this has to stop: the point at which we give away information we actually need to keep to ourselves. We can’t tell you which festivals you should apply for next year, because creating the list (wait, capitalise that – The List) took many, many hours, and is tailor made for us with events we think would work with our product. On the other hand we will happily share events with contacts, good and bad, what with these things being nicely reciprocal. I feel mean actually writing that, because in my own head I’m formulating all the arguments for why this makes us bad people, but that’s just me, and The List really wouldn’t help a whole lot of folks out there.

All the other trade secrets of the industry, those things that we have discovered through trial and error and that might make your life a little easier, tend to drift out in blog posts as I happen to think of them. The fact that lighting is not there so that you can see, but so that potential customers can see you. We learnt this the hard way. I can only think of a few other useful ones anyway, and they are mostly fluffy advice, which the blog is full of, rather than sensational inside scoops about the perfect way to seduce a festival organiser. Although in that respect you should probably try not using the word “seduce” in conversations about them.

Two identical images of our food van, one with the lights off.

So, just to make sure you were reading carefully, here is the promised quiz:

1. Which explosion caused the van to travel back in time?
2. How many people won at the event?
3. Who is the Jabberwocky Secret Keeper?

Answers in the comments below. Have a lovely week.

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