Mixing Business With Pleasure In A Classic VW
by Tara Gould
Bob's Lobsters Van
The notion of camper van travel conjures up images of freedom and adventure, a release from the shackles of the everyday, the office desk, the dull commute, the demands of the boss.
But does it have to be like this? A growing number of people are making their escape from the conventional world of work and attempting to eek out a living by combining the things they love: classic VWs and culinary arts.
And what better time? The street food market culture is growing in popularity and temporary food and drinks caterers are becoming more and more stylish and creative at festivals and events. A pop-up gastro venue on wheels is one way to make money while traveling.
Let’s have a look at some of the ingenious people who have married their love of classic VW campers with their business idea, and are making it work!
There’s nothing more appealing than the smell of properly roasted, top quality coffee, in the early morning, when you’re stuck in a field somewhere after a night under the canvas. You might be lucky enough to come across Monkshood Coffee, whose fully trained baristas serve only the highest quality coffee, from their classic VWs at events up and down the country.
This isn’t just any old coffee company either, part of the Third Wave Coffee Movement, Monkshood refuse to support the abuses and low quality associated with commodity coffee and are committed to sustainability at all levels.
“Our USP is that we aim to serve the best possible product, with minimal impact,” says director Elliot Wallis “we keep close links with the companies we buy from, we source sustainably and believe in fair-trading at a grassroots level.”
Could this be the tastiest ’57 split screen in the world? It is specially converted VW combi with a custom made kitchen inside and a huge hinge up roof section which is used to display the menu.
Bob’s Lobsters serve lobsters rolls to an eager clientele of food shoppers at one of London’s most historic markets, Borough Food Market. The brain child of owner Steve Layton, he says the conversion would not have been possible without the constant help and support of classic VW spare parts company VWheritage:
“We spoke to VW Heritage on a daily basis, which is where we got 80 per cent of the parts. For the items we couldn’t buy, VW Heritage helped source a supplier. If it hadn’t been for the guys there, the whole thing would never have happened. They project managed the build throughout.”
The Split Screen Ice Cream Company
Ice cream vans may be a common, though well loved sight, but not many can boast organic award-winning ice cream served from such a beautiful motor. The Split Screen Ice Cream Company won the “Best Looking Mobiler in the U.K.” at the 2012 British Street Food Awards. This rare and gorgeous ’64 split screen is unique in the UK, factory built by VW as a mobile shop, and only 1 of about 5 left worldwide.
Locally produced ice cream is natural and sustainably produced. They even use an organic milk farm (Soil Association certified) and the cows come in from pasture to be milked and that fresh milk goes straight into ice cream production. Fancy an upmarket ’99 anyone?
Tara Gould is a writer with a love of classic campers, she likes to spread the word on green travel, ethical business and sustainable lifestyle. You can follow her @EditorialTara