Victoria Corney-Young’s creative development of Ettie, her 1957 Citroen H Van, and launch of The Street Pantry is going from strength to strength. The Street Pantry offers bistro style healthy fast food from a converted van, offering breakfast and lunch. The mobile eatery offers healthy food with a range of healthy snacks, along with some naughty treats. Vicky has adapted her menu to offer seasonal produce at different times throughout the year, such as soups and stews in the Autumn & Winter.
Vicky launched the business in February 2016 and promoted it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She started to receive lots of positive interest, including from a bride-to-be who was interested in hiring Ettie for her big day, prompting Vicky to look into getting an alcohol license. Vicky produced leaflets and gave them out at various locations and received enquiries via social media. Soon after the launch, Vicky’s new website came to fruition and the business was securing months in advance for private parties, events, and even a Triathlon.
Vicky needed the loan to purchase the basic and necessary equipment for the van, such as a fridge, cooker and coffee machine. The support of her delivery partner, Newable, allowed Vicky to invest in the right equipment to make the business last, instead of just buying cheap alternatives as a quick fix. The loan also helped to pay for signage and branding on the exterior of Ettie the Van, as well as various marketing literature and promotional material.
Additionally, the provision of the loan enabled Vicky to put deposits down for spaces at large events, such as football matches and festivals, allowing Vicky to be less dependent on one-off bookings and secure high value locations during the peak summer months.
She started off as a one man band but now has a team of three casual, part time staff who support her.
Vicky is planning to expand the business by setting up permanent operations from various locations and has been in talks with a Folkestone-based company for a seasonal pitch to cover the summer months.
Progress has been slow but Vicky is now also in talks with a local business to get a shop. Vicky aims to use the shop as her base, whilst still renting the van out for events and occasions. This arrangement depends on the costs of staffing new premises. On the plus side, having a shop would alleviate the pressure, time and costs of going to events and having to set up at the start of the event. Vicky is hopeful and excited about future growth of her business.