On Saturday, we had our first ever street stall at Druid Street Market in Bermondsey.
Throughout the week we were super excited. Despite meticulous planning, when the day came along things didn't go exactly to plan.
But, ever the optimists, we took solace in the knowledge that we had gained some valuable insights into the trade. So, aping the ever popular listicle format, here are five things that we learnt from our time.
1. Mini Coopers are not vehicles designed for transporting the entirety of a street stall.
This isn't super surprising. In fact, you're probably thinking: 'the mini cooper is renowned for being very small'. Yet, impelled by our antipathy towards paying for a taxi, we managed to fit a pretty massive sign, a soup kettle, a rice cooker, two tables, and a lot of food into the boot. Warning: driving with such little leg-room and such proximity to the clutch is highly unadvisable.
2. Ideally, don't smash your big bottle of chutney immediately upon arrival.
Again, this seems like it's rather obvious. Yet, in our defence, things were getting manic and it was rainy...Fortunately, we had two jars, so people still got to try some of our delicious date and tamarind chutney.
3. Don't expect Amazon water bottles to be even the slightest bit useful.
It's always handy having a big container of water at a street stall. So, we employed the trusty counsel of Amazon, who 'recommended' an inflatable water bottle.
In what appears to be a running theme, this water container was dropped - and exploded. 5 litres of water then spread across the floor - serendipitously mingling with our smashed jar of chutney. The ensuing brown effluence required a lot of toilet paper.
4. Don't trust Nisbets. Ever.
With the weather forecast looking miserable, we decided to invest in a couple of portable cookers. There are a number of options to heat up food - as we learnt in immense detail from various members of staff. From the banh marie, to electric hobs, and gas heaters.
Anyway, to cut a long story short: we purchased a gas hob. Yet, on a rainy, windy Saturday, our cauliflower and chickpea masala wasn't warming up.
In this scenario, it's handy to have a back-up plan. We were saved by Grace's boyfriend's willingness to visit Nisbets on a Saturday morning and hand-deliver an electric pan. Hero.
5. Some of our co-stall hosts make pretty awesome food.
Getting to sample some of the other food from the stalls was awesome. We didn't get to try all of the grub, but loved the aubergine and pomegranate stew made by Blue Bowl Kitchen who cook up tasty, fresh Middle Eastern food.
We also managed to get our hands on two loaves of seeded, whole-grain sourdough bread from The Snapery. These were big loaves of bread that were demolished by the next morning. So good.
Finally, coffee, heat and moral support was provided by Black Box Coffee - who manage to look cool and make great coffee at the same time. Check them out.
Anyway, we'll be back, no doubt with similar tales of woe and curry, on Saturday 27th of February. Come say hello and try some of our food!