When street food springs to mind you think of bustling market with exotic food on offer and colourful sights. This is not something you think about when Aberdeen, the grey granite city is brought up in conversation. Except that after working at Haydn’s Woodfired Pizza for the last year and a half I now think of Aberdeen street food as a food community that prides itself in offering fresh produce, good quality and unique tastes to the people of the city. You can grab pizza, tacos, a variety of burgers, numerous mouth watering fries, stupidly good smoked meats and wraps and all are fresh to order. There are foods for the meat lovers, vegetarians, a wide range of vegan foods on offer and gluten free grub.
The first rule of street food club is that you don’t talk about it or it would seem, again before stepping in this arena I was naively unaware of the wide range of street food Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire has to offer, advertising this is a work in progress and even in the last year. I think if you stopped someone in the street to ask them they would have some knowledge or would be aware of the presence of street food.
Rule number two is that you have to be passionate about what you are creating in all aspects of your business, from the end product to all the steps involved in getting there. If you are looking to make a quick buck with a food that everyone likes then you will be setting yourself up to fail. People love said food and will quickly make their feelings known about your product, luckily this has not happened to us but I have seen it happen.
Don’t expect everyone to come along for the ride, you will have a chosen few who you can trust with your brand and you are happy to let them fly alongside with you, as that is what you do, you fly. You fly through every aspect of street food, its never quiet or not busy, its always, for use of a better word buzzing. I believe that this is due to people looking to experience something different, rather then eat at a chain restaurant or fast food place, they want to taste different foods and support their local businesses. You will lose touch with friends, miss weddings and christenings because you are covered in flour and sauce, sometimes a pang of sadness washes over me and I think to myself what am I doing, but then I realise that people want nothing more than to see us succeed.
Finally, rule number three, if you wouldn’t eat your product or pay for it then you shouldn’t expect someone else to. Cooking with a woodfired oven can bear obstacles, like mis judging the turning time leaving a pizza charred, or stretching a pizza that is shaped like a continent – these types of pizzas are inevitable but do not make it across the counter, we begin again and serve freshly prepared woodfire pizzas that are fired to perfection and are not sub par because we haven’t got time or cant be bothered remaking one pizza because we have a few orders on the board, its not us its not what we do.
The future is so bright for Aberdeen and the street food vendors in it and in years to come I think the industry will be thriving – more than it already is!