The Process of Being Seen

I have been trying to fool myself for a week or two now. It’s time to come clean. So I’ve sat myself down, made a cup of tea and I plan on telling myself the truth. You see, it turns out that just getting a food van, painting it, getting it seen to by the EHO, naming it and occasionally talking to it does not make a business. You have to feed it. Put another way, you have to feed other people. Other people found at food venues up and down the country, but not – and this is crucial – on our driveway. Yes, it turns out that many of the people who would probably want to eat Jabberwocky Streetfood spend very little time milling around in front of our house.

Our drive way.

Our drive. Note the lack of hungry punters. That bit on the right is not the drive by the way, that's a bush.


This seemingly obvious realisation is what has been niggling at me all this time. After a bonding session with the Beast on Tuesday we are only about |——this—–| far from being able to sell our wares legally to all and sundry. He needs a little bit of wiring and the all clear from someone who knows things about gas, but very little else. After all, while he will not be complete without his livery an absence of branding will not prevent Barny from cooking. Come to think of it, I have yet to encounter anything that can. So in practical terms, the Beast stands ready, poised to join the battle. It therefore pains me to realise, with a creeping certainty that has taken several days to accept, that we don’t have anywhere for the Jabberwocky to attack.

At first the plan was to make our grand entrance at a festival at the beginning of June. We then methodically worked through the calendar, checking dates and ruling out certain weekends on the grounds of weddings and stag or hen dos. Those remaining weekends were then designated the front line in our campaign. That first festival, apparently ignoring the rules of engagement, turned down our application. What followed was a period of quiet denial on my part. In hindsight the rejection was to be expected, and as every day passes and I learn more about this world I am inclined to think I would have done the same, but it hurt nonetheless. Consider it this way: You are a general, mustering your troops for a skirmish behind enemy lines. Suddenly, in walks the new guy. He seems keen, has some fun new ideas and likes to set fire to stuff, but when asked “have you ever done this before” he replies “umm”.

There is a first time for everything, we just need that first time. Getting that first time will mean accepting a fair few not-first-times. As long as we can get ourselves out there and get seen by these people we have a chance, but they are not going to come to us. So stop pretending they will.

That last part was for me.

It actually feels better now I’ve written that. Better, but I think I’m still going to go finish off the Ben&Jerry’s.

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About Jabberwocky Soliloquy

The Jabberwocky drifts through space, collecting the most tasty things to eat. It brings them home and cooks them, humming about deliberate omissions and fortifying colours. As with all things it is, or should be, just happy to be here.
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6 Responses to The Process of Being Seen

  1. Harroguk says:

    Another entertaining blog post, even read a few bits out to the wife this time. Added you to my RSS feed so I don’t miss out on any posts.

    Starting a business is tough, tougher than a big bag of tough stuff but hard work and commitment will make it work. After that you just need a tiny bit (or maybe a biggy bit) of luck to turn it from a business that will keep you ticking over into a business that funds your mansion and fleet of cars.

    • Yep, too right. I think I’ve only recently started to accommodate all the tough inside my head at once. On the one hand it’s terrifying, on the other hand it’s also terrifying. I suppose on the third hand at least it’s somewhere I can see it.

  2. Gwyn says:

    There seem to be a lot of local Fetes happening. Are they on your list of potential events?

    • I have been working on a letter to any organisations that might want to hear from us, but fêtes should definitely be much higher up that list. With them will then come the inevitable problem of kids and their compatibility with streetfood. I think we may need some menu tweaks. Thanks for the suggestion, I shall ponder the matter.

  3. Fran says:

    How about beer gardens? Surely you could co-habit with a beer garden? Or find a nice carpark/park somewhere. Back in my home town (I miss it so) there was a van of a similar nature to yours that hung out in a carpark that had been deserted by a homeware store on Friday and Saturday night. It had fairy lights and a couple of picnic tables. Perfect summer spot.

    • I like the idea of trading from a beer garden, but it would mean finding a pub that does not sell food. I can’t imagine a food-led pub would be especially pleased to host us. I have been trying to think of nice places in Leamington where we might be able to park ourselves. A few come to mind, I just need to look into the licenses you appear to need to do anything. I was thinking at the southern end of the footbridge leading out of Jephson Gardens. I think we will need to be in a fairly busy spot to start with, until the rumour of the Wocky has spread far and wide and people flock for miles just to see the van.

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