So here we are. 50 days graft and head scratching and what have we got to show for it all?
THIS. Our very own Willy Wonka’s Custard Factory a.k.a #TheDessertShopOfDreams bang in the heart of one of London’s best-loved community night markets.
One third 50s diner, one third Tokyo café and one third curiosity shop, it aims to engage the imagination to prepare you for (what in most cases will be) something brand new.
The Big Apple £5 | American-style frozen vanilla custard blitzed with hot chunks of spiced apple pie, salted caramel and almonds
Peanut & Honeycomb £5 | American-style frozen vanilla custard blitzed with hot peanut cookie and honeycomb caramel
Thank you to everyone who has followed along, helped us out and visited the shop so far. One of the best things about starting the business has been the relationships we’ve built along the way.
Find us for a cuppa at @streetfeastldn’s Model Market every Fri / Sat over the summer, 17:00 – 23:00. And who knows where else in the future.
Customary food shots coming soon. Until then, stay in touch, and stay fresh.
On the day before launching a business you might expect an extraordinary day. For us it meant standing in a 10-minute queue at Wilkinson’s for the third time in 24hrs with a baby crying in our ear.
In fact, this is what our penultimate day looked like – our to-do list word for word. If you’re getting into food for glamour.. best think again.
Paint Back Shelf
Assembly and Test
Install Bottle Rack
Pin Menu Wire
Tomorrow is the opening day and all this stuff is DONE. Looking forward to seeing you there, we won’t be hard to find.😎
SE13 6LS / 17:00 – 01:00 🚀✨
One of the best opportunities within hospitality is exploring ways to surprise and delight. How your food sounds / looks / tastes are all clear opportunities, but how can you make someone feel chosen?
Each night before service we’ll hide a secret token in the shop and the first to find it will win a free tub. It’s our way of rewarding a little curiosity, and twice a week we’ll help make someone’s night. Happy hunting!🌝
There’s something very satisfying about your vision taking form but when the food arrives (and you get to break out the clip-lock tupperware) it hits another level.
Not sure what’s in your kitchen this evening, but here’s what we’ve got in ours. Fairly sure there’s a #lifegoal ✅ in here somewhere.
60 litres vanilla custard
5kg peanut cookie
5kg cinnamon crumble
3.5 litres salted caramel
3.5 litres honey-based caramel
4 litres spiced apple compote
4kg wild flower honeycomb
250g sea salt
Lift off at Model Market this Friday.
SE13 6LS | 17:00 – 01:00 🚀✨
This may look like a strange sort of trophy, but what it actually is is the beater from the inside of a soft serve machine. It’s the bit that churns the mix in the freezer chamber, and the part that has been jammed since last Thursday.
After 5 days, 178 wiggles, 3 video calls (with an engineer) and 1 graphic artist, friction finally lost the battle. Not to say that we’re out of the woods, but it’s progress by any account.
Andrew, our engineer, perhaps said it best – “Don’t sit! Take action. Figure it out.” Nice one, A.👊
This evening marks the end of a two-day working weekend and a combined total of 44 hours on site. It’s a strange thing to look around at the relatively sparse collection of objects and wonder: “Where did all that time go?”
The truth is that we kept finding ways to improve things, chasing down the extra 5%. And when we thought of a radical (albeit awkward and time consuming) idea for the ceiling, there was no option to let it lie.
Your results are a direct reflection of your standards. At what point do you compromise? When you start a business you can do what you like, but for us it’s an easy one – we don’t.
We look forward to welcoming you to the shop in just 5 days time.🚀✨
What is it about working with our hands that brings us that feeling of purpose and satisfaction?
Most of us no longer make things, but buy them instead; we no longer fix things, but replace them. We are more dependent and passive, and have lost some of our connection with the physical world.
Manual work gives you a sense of autonomy and responsibility for your work, and for the material world. Craftspeople, sportspeople and musicians talk about entering into a flow state.
Or maybe it’s just being able to say at the end of the day, “Look, there. That’s what I did, and it’s going to last.”
Setting the Table is a collection of stories, ideas and insights that is revered as a bible of food and hospitality. No 50 steps of ours would be complete without due reference to this brilliant book.
Hospitality exists when you believe the other person is on your side. The converse is just as true. Hospitality is present when something happens for you. It is absent when something happens to you. Those two simple prepositions – for and to – express it all.
Sometimes, even if you do everything right, life will come back and bite you firmly in the arse. Imagine firing up your key piece of machinery and your mentor’s reaction is “Man, that’s not good.”
The good news was that the custard came out almost perfect, but when we broke it down to clean the blades were jammed. We called the engineer who carried out he service but even his suggestions didn’t help.
It would be nice to finish with a resolution but for now the thing’s still stuck. At least we realised with 8 days in hand, and if they can put a man on the moon, we can get a god damn spindle out of a custard machine.💪
Of all the new roles you take on in food perhaps the most insidious is that of the gambler. The game is bulk-ordering fresh ingredients and you get to play every week.
Order too much and take a hit on waste, too little you close early and miss out on sales. This becomes less of a problem moving up to 3/4/5 days per week, but only trading on the weekends? Fresh don’t carry.
The only real way forward is learning from experience, recording useful data as you go. Your mentors (and the weatherman) can help you up to a point, but when the time comes it’s simple – roll the dice.