Archives for posts with tag: People’s pops

BSF 2013

This week the British Street Food Awards 2013 were announced and there has been a lot going on since I talked about these awards last year.

Street Food has long been the centre of food creativity in many many countries, most especially in the Far East and India. But since it hit the avenues and promenades of the US it has taken on a marketing slant, defining a whole new way of eating. New York quickly tagged on but it was in LA that I really got it. I fondly remember being in Abbot Kinney and experiencing First Friday –  a hyper street of food trucks on the first Friday of every month. The food truck is where the city discovered chefs like Roy Choi and his Kogi tacos and in the same way, so young pretenders came into the fold in the UK.

I have spoken a lot about Pitt Cue co. who started in an airstream trailer under Hungerford Bridge and now they are permanently placed in their restaurant near Carnaby Street. The mobile food truck was the birthplace of other now permanent places such as MEATliquor, Yum Bun, Homeslice and Daisy Green. This formula of trying out a concept in a more secure and less costly format has worked for many.

Eat Street

As individual traders, it is hard to know the best sites to go to and so it is important for people to find ways of pulling together and create a big street in which to eat. My first experience in Britain was at Eat St in Kings Cross, now under the brand KERB. The team cherry pick the best of the best for their offering every week at the ever growing enclave that surrounds the Kings Cross development. It is such a great place to chill and the mobile offering is a clever position for people discovering all that is in the area.

Specially commissioned by the clan at Trinity Kitchen

Specially commissioned by the clan at Trinity Kitchen

Last weekend I was up at home and my Mum took me to see the new Trinity Centre in Leeds city centre. It is quite a development, most fitting for such an important UK city, and then I learned about Trinity Kitchen. Those clever people at the centre decided to embrace the whole street food trend and put mobile trucks on the food floor of their impressive mall, supported by 5 pop up traders to add variety. This team have really understood the fashion and so it was no surprise to see them sponsoring the British Street Food Awards and celebrating the winner with these specially commissioned biscuits.

So who won this year? well the top prize went to Bristol based duo from Katie and Kim’s Kitchen. Their stovies, oatcakes and toasted cheese scones were all highly commended in different categories and overall, this added up to the big prize.

Here comes the book...

Here comes the book…

Entries covered the whole world in cuisine with offerings from across Europe, Taiwan, Mexico and the US. People really have figured out the truck concept and the quality of food is now better than ever. True to form, previous winner Ginger’s Comfort Emporium won again with their incredible ice cream and the one to watch went to Best Young Trader Stan’s Snow Cones. This 13 year old discovered People’s Pops in New York and brought the concept back to Lewes to create his wonderful snow cones. Clever boy.

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?….