Rock and Floss

We have a number of quite regular clients, which we like because as well as a steady income stream, familiarity makes the job easier. One such gig is the Caramello party nights at the Rock City night spot in Nottingham. A nice 3 hour job, albeit unsociable hours.

The staff are always remarking on how busy it is, so we took advantage of our sister companies kit and borrowed a Go Pro time lapse camera to see what our candy floss operator actually does.

The video shows 2 things, just how hectic it is, and that a Go Pro camera battery doesn’t

last 3 hours?

 

New Product Launch

Vapour Shots, A New Concept In Drinks Delivery

Another new line we are launching for 2016 are Vapour Shots, alcoholic drinks are delivered under high pressure into a specially sealed container. When the lid is popped, a portion of the drink instantly vapourises, and the result is sucked up through a straw, delivering an instant alcoholic buzz. A stunning new concept in drinks, perfect for student events, military balls and general fun and games throughout the known universe.

Popped Vapour shot
A vapour shot after being popped
Professional Vapour Shot Machine
A professional grade vapour shot machine

The Biscuit Factory, Edinburgh

Travelling the length and breadth of the country we come across some really quirky venues, I well remember the looks I received in London when I asked people on the street for directions to the “House Of Correction”, turned out to be the former underground cells for Clarkenwell prison, but sounded very much like I was looking for a brothel!

We have just supplied frozen cocktails and hot dogs to a party at the Biscuit Factory in Edinburgh, this was, as the name suggests, a former biscuit factory for the firm of Crawfords, now part of the United Biscuits Group

, it has been purchased and turned into an arts house type events venue, on the ground floor there is even a set of stills, I thought at first the arty types were perhaps producing moonshine, but turns out to be a proper pukka operation called Edinburgh Gin

Anyway, the venue was an interesting one, though rather chilly, due in part to there being no heating, and a number of missing window panes. We were operating a couple of Victorian style carts, which fit in with the event perfectly. On the 3rd floor where we were operating, the centerpiece attraction was parts of a 1960’s Morris Mini Deluxe car hanging from the ceiling, well the seats were sat on the floor, but the bonnet, boot and 2 doors were hanging from the ceiling, I could have done with the drivers seat to replace the one that was stolen from our classic mini cooper, but there weren’t really any chances to smuggle it out.

Biscuit Factory Edinburgh
A shot of the main event space at the Biscuit Factory
2 Victorian catering carts
Two of our Victorian style catering carts at the biscuit factory in Edinburgh
Classic Morris Mini Parts
Sections of a Classic Morris Mini

Catering Services With A Difference

Fun and Quirky Catering Vans

We have offered a range of different catering carts for quite a while now, including Victorian style, modern contemporary, Winter Alpine mini huts, event wild west style chuck wagon. However we have now decided to update and broaden the range we offer, we have commissioned a number of new themed carts which will be launched over the coming weeks, we are also adapting a number of our vehicles for catering use.

Imagine you could have your coffee served from an authentic Indian tuk tuk, or what about pretzels served from the back of Del Boy Trotters three wheeled van? Our aim is to offer the most complete choice of catering carts in the industry.

Indian Tuk Tuk coffee cart
Our Indian Tuk Tuk, currently being adapted to serve as a coffee cart
Del Boy trotters 3 wheeled catering van.
Del Boy Trotter catering van

Kulfi Ice Cream Cart Hire

We offer a wide range of different catering options, including many desserts. For some reason different offerings seem to be especially popular some years. 2015 was fairly quiet for our Kulfi Cart offering, yet 2014 was especially busy, and 2016 is already busier than 2015 was.

Kulfi, for those who have never encountered it, is a version of ice cream that originated in the Indian sub continent. Unlike Western ice cream, kulfi is not whipped to introduce air into the mixture, so it tends to be a much more solid and dense mixture, which takes much longer to melt.

Reputedly it was invented in the 1500’s in the Mughal Empire, dense evaporated milk was already a popular dessert, when it was mixed with additional flavours, packed into metal cones and immersed into slurry ice resulting in Kulfi.

Traditionally in India kulfi is sold by vendors called Kulfiwallers who serve it on a leaf or frozen on a stick.

Latitude Festival

We have just come back from the Latitude festival in Suffolk, 5 nights camping in an Indian tipi whilst we covered a job for a corporate client.

A fabulous festival, with some great acts, and enough catering to feed an army. We snapped some of the more striking catering units whilst we were there, too big for the jobs we do, but really well presented.

 

Arrival Of A Princess

We’ve been on standby for the last fortnight waiting upon the arrival of the Royal Baby, we were contracted to give tea and coffee out to the paparazzi camped outside the Lindo wing of the hospital.

As it turned out we had just got back from bloody London when the phone rang to announce Kate had gone into labour and we promptly dashed back upto the smoke.

On arrival we discovered that we didn’t actually have a site for the coffee cart sorted out, and we were basically going to set up just around the corner from the Lindo wing and hope the Police didn’t move us on.

We sent the Prosecco out to the paparazzi first, as princess Charlotte had just been born, and then assembled the coffee cart in the midst of numerous police officers walking around armed with sub machine guns, to be honest I am surprised that we were pretty much ignored by the security services and set up without any problem. At one point Prince William drove past us about 3 feet away, so hopefully the security services had somehow ascertained we were no threat without us realising, if not then security was rather lapse.

Espresso Cart Outside the Lindo Wing
Set up on the side of the road round the corner from the Lindo Wing

 

The Customer Is Always Right

We are currently up in Northumberland dispensing soup on behalf of Go Smarter, a government funded initiative  which encourages people to find sustainable ways to travel, that are greener, cheaper and healthier.

The first day on the job saw us braving high winds and even snow on various industrial estates around Cramlington.

The last time I personally was on one of our soup carts was down in one of the London boroughs for a local housing association. At the time we were dispensing various flavours of soup that had been specified by the client, anyway part way through the day an elderly Asian woman walked up, pointed to one of the soup warmers and asked for that soup, I told her she didn’t want that one, to which she replied, “You listen to me stupid boy, I tell you which soup I want, you don’t tell me, and I want that one!”

Working on the well known business dictum of the customer is always right, I obliged her with a big cup of soup. Perhaps 5 minutes later she came back with the soup 3 quarters gone and asked me what the bits in the bottom of the cup were, “Ham”, I replied sweetly. Her face flashed to an ashen colour, then went crimson and she started to scream at me for giving her soup with ham in it (I presume she was of the Islamic faith), after she had wore her voice out, I pointed out that I did try to tell her she didn’t want that particular flavour, but she had insisted!

Image of soup cart and Nissan electric car
The Go Smarter soup cart and electric car

Health & Hygiene

We have just had a re inspection from the local health department, the last one was in 2009, and we should have had another in 2011, but being classed as a low risk business, and the council being short on resources, they have only just managed to get around to us.

Glad to report that we have kept our prestigious 5 star rating, in fact the inspector remarked that the control system we had in place was superior to many hotels he had inspected.

I didn’t realise how the system they use worked, I thought 4 stars and above sounds quite good, but in reality if you only have 4 stars it means that you have a number of problems with your food hygiene systems, which doesn’t sound very reassuring, so really anything less than 5 is unacceptable.