Monday, 21 November 2011

Bye Bye Jimmy...

Wow. That was a long gap between blog posts. And meanwhile, so many things have been happening - not all of them to do with choc.

I handed Choc Star over to Shrimp & Ben for the summer who took it all over the place, serving up the brown stuff at festivals, parties, markets and film sets. Then they handed the van back and I welcomed him with open arms. It was strange not being at the helm this summer, but more than that it was strange not having all of those chance encounters at the counter. This is the magic of the choc-mobile and which has kept me hooked all these years - it's the opportunity to act as a window into so many different worlds, and to meet all those new smiling, choc-loving people.

There I was this summer, putting a load of extra time into the growth of, and that meant a whole lot more computer time than I'm used to. The abstract world...electronic communication, copying people in. As soon as I got back in the van it was like a surge of relief as I returned to the primal pleasures of serving someone what they've asked for, receiving the cash, having a chat and then waving them on their way. So simple yet so good.

Now, as I juggle my Masters with running, Choc Star has taken on more of a hobby-like role. I take Jimmy out about once or twice a week - either a private booking or an event or King's Cross - and after all that abstraction it's like being on holiday when in Jimmy. Something so calming about the mechanics of operating that van. Physical processes, immediate transactions, lots of treats, out in the open air slinging away with the best of them.

But now, each time I steer that old rascal around town, I'm drinking it in, knowing that our time is fading. Yes friends, Jimmy is about to be put out to pasture. Or, put another way, the new Low Emission Zone looms on 3rd January and he ain't going to pass it. So off he'll go to the countryside, never to be seen within the M25 again...except as signage:

So all of you who have enjoyed your time at the van these past six years, come and find us before Choc Star in this particular guise is no more. We'll be at the Chocolate Festival 9-11 December, King's Cross 25th November and 16th December and the Real Food Market 17th-18th December (see links to the right of this page).

Then off he'll go, to pastures new and I shall knuckle down to completing my Masters and ploughing forward with driving British street food forward.

Play in Choc Star will be suspended until further notice.

But I'll be putting Jimmy - the van - up for sale. Get in touch if you'd like to start your very own food biz on wheels and you think Jimmy could be the one for you. He's a great motor, can travel the length and breadth of this nation and is ready for the next chapter of his rich and interesting life.


The end of my adventure in this van, could be the beginning of yours...what a brilliant time I've had being on the road in the choc-mobile.


Anonymous said...

Dear Choc Star
I pass Jimmy everyday on the way to my school here in Cornwall. I love the design. I have read the website with my Mum and Dad and it sounds like a delicious menu. My favourite one is Rocky Road ice cream. I wish you were still going so I could try the flavours. And i like all the photos too.

From Arthur (age 7)

Petra Barran said...

Dear Arthur,

What a lovely message - and one that made me smile with fondness.

I'm sorry that you can't get inside of the van and experience being on the road in him. He's a great adventuror - one of the best! Maybe Fe, who bought him, will let you in one day - look out for a blonde girls with flowers in her hair...

In the mean time, keep eating ice cream and you'll grow up big and strong.

X Petra