Leamington Spa Street Food Collective
The best laid plans all start with an idea. The idea has been kicking around inside the Jabberwocky for a while, trying to find somewhere to get down to business and begin. It might not work out, but that’s no reason not to try. I think Yoda said that. Actually the quote is “Do or do not, there is no try”. Still, aside from Star Wars teaching me all the morals I’ll ever need, the point is that we need to do this.
Recently Leamington Spa, or rather Old Town, down on the southern end of Leamington, was made a Portas Pilot town. For those not familiar with the concept it means there will be government funding, Mary Portas providing advice and a much needed revamp of southern Leamington Spa, which is currently regarded as the dodgy end of town. It means that wheels are turning, possibilities are popping up and there is a chance that the council will consider new ideas more openly.
One of the ideas the organisers had was to set up regular events in Old Town as a way of encouraging people to the area and making it a location in its own right, rather than just the part of town closest to the station. It is currently home to a huge number of often very fine takeaways, loads of independent shops and the rather lovely old church and post office. The area looks rather unloved though, especially compared to the sparkling white walls and expensive façades of the Parade on the other side of the river.
The Jabberwocky, whilst no doubt everyone’s favourite food van and go-to large green VW, is really not going to be able to fix this alone. No one would flock for miles just to see the Jabberwocky and exchange dragon-based banter. I’d love to think that you would, but ideally you would want to combine it with an activity, such as lunch. Even better if you could have more choice than just really delicious, moreish toasties. I’ll be the first person to admit that you cannot live off toasties alone. In just the same way I recently had to discover that the same applies to steak.
Just supposing we could get together an interesting collection of street food, all serving delicious food at reasonable prices, and just supposing these characterful options were available somewhere in Old Town, how far would you come to see what was on offer? Would you venture across the River Leam to try something new for lunch?
The possibility is there. The precedent certainly is. Street food groups are popping up all over the place, but they are mostly confined to cities. Mostly because there are not that many food vans out there, and those that are all tend to serve the same tired food every time.
The first step is to see if there even are any other gourmet food trucks or interesting food providers out there who would want to be involved. At the same time we need to see if Leamington would want to get involved. Then all we need is that Euromillions Jackpot and we’re away.
If you know any catering folks who might want to get involved please point them our way. If you would like to get involved please point yourself our way. I’m not certain this will work, but I am certain there is no harm in trying.