I have a fun day planned, more of which later, but in the meantime just a short note to acknowledge something I have been banging on about for a while. If you agree and know any others, please let me know.

Here comes the book…

Today I read about the People’s Pops recipe book. For those of you who have not been fortunate enough to experience this New York phenomenon, People’s Pops are an ice lolly shop in Chelsea Market and now across other NYC locations. This was one of the great discoveries I made on my last trip as the concept ticked so many of the boxes that I feel is driving innovative food retail at the moment. However, these guys were for a time missing one important ingredient in my recipe for success….the book!

Ingredients, flavours and quirky sticks: simples

You see, my theory goes like this. New concepts have to start out small and at low cost, hence the pop up or street food culture. It is about a van or a counter or something very manageable and low maintenance. The menu has to be tight, focusing on one product or one thing done exceptionally well, in this case ice lollies. And in doing that well there is generally a sense of humour, some innovative flavours and great sourcing. After that it is all about the branding and marketing which require quirky elements (ice lolly sticks), great social media, word of mouth and a young vibrant team who can represent the brand dynamically to the customer. Obviously the final element is merchandising with the cap, the t shirt, the serving dish… and of course the book.

Don’t believe me? Well here are a few more examples to prove the point.

The Meatball Shop promote their book with the receipt

Meatballs, fun tick list menu, nod to the tradition of mincing beef with mincer elements on the wall and….. the book!

Doughnuts galore…and good ones at that

Doughnuts, fun doughnut shaped cushions and chairs, trendy flavours, pared back branding. I haven’t seen the book yet, so watch this space. They are definitely missing a trick.

And one from our own shores: Pitt Cue Co.

Pitt Cue simple daily menu

It started in an airstream truck under Hungerford Bridge and just took off from there. Now in Newburgh St, Soho, these guys combine great smokey, well sourced slow cooked meat cuts with tasty sides. Don’t forget Hair of the Pig before you sit down to get you in the spicy mood and save room for dessert. Once again, the book and the merchandising is not yet there, but it will be. Mark my words!

Any from you?….