Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The end of October...Already

Hello Veggie Lovers! 
October is almost over and we are now seriously starting to cook! 

What a great few weeks we have had, meeting you all at plant swap meets, in Adelaide’s park lands, Gilles Street Market and today in the University for the first time. 

The Veggie Velo has been clocking up some miles and Manu has been working into overtime. 


We had a great morning on International ride to work day, with our first try at something different off the grill, Corn Fritters (vegan) and Banana Pancakes (vegan also). They were super good and hopefully we can do a little breakfast service some time in the future.


In the past few weeks we have also traveled to Woodville to be part of a friendly Garden open day at Ridley Grove Community Garden, took part in the city Park(ing) Day and worked the crowd for the march to Solar Power up our state. We even had a pop up park in the East end to help celebrate Irving Baby's 20th (!!) anniversary. Thanks Splash adelaide for the deck chair vibe.



We are learning that now we have a lot more sun we need to take cover in the shade, so some of our favourite spots like North Terrace will be moving during summer. We met some great Veggie Burger fans at this spot so hopefully we can find somewhere shady near by.


We are also now certain we have the best customers in the world. Not only are you all friendly and patient, you have been giving us amazing feedback and reviews as well. We are sincerely grateful for all of your business and hope we keep you well fed and happy for some time yet.

Yelp welcomes Veggie Velo to its pages. Thank you for liking us!


One highlight of the past few weeks was meeting and serving Simon Bryant. Ever cooked for a chef? It can be a little nerve racking, but Simon was very friendly and came and complimented Manu and even gave us some beautiful produce from his ‘Dirty’ range, Lentils and Chickpeas. We are now fans of those as well. Simon is a champion of ethical produce and we are lucky to have him in Adelaide. 

 Who knew you could get lentils from Kangaroon Island?



We were also happy to finally meet the Kind Cleaner, who came and introduced himself. Paul is not only doing kind cleaning he is doing great blogging, and we love his regular posts. We know the food industry can go a long way to be more environmentally friendly, and this blog is a little inspiration for us! 

Be inspired by a kind Adelaidean here.


We have met so many great people through this business, maybe I can work out a little blog special on all of you? 



So, what’s coming up for the Velo in the lead up to 2013?

Quite a lot. 

For starters Manu is doing work on the bicycle. Let’s be honest. It could be a bit lighter! It weighs a couple of hundred kilos and every little bit counts, so some weight loss is taking place.
 
Then we are excited to be involved with Summer Fridays in the East end. Every Friday night from November 16th we will be in Ebenezer Place, with a great group of traders. 

 Here we come Ebenezer on Fridays!

We are promoting cycling a little more by being involved with Tour de Work. This is going to be great, and hopefully you are already involved. If not, finish reading this blog post and go online and get involved! 

Click here to see what's happenin'

World Vegan Day! Of course we will be there. Its still to be confirmed but keep the 18th November free and be ready to eat your way from one side of the park to the other. Lots of stalls and of course Veggie Velo vegan burgers. We will be doing a trial run of a new vegan burger patty to allow choice for our fans, very exciting! 

Veggie Velo is also going to be flipping burgers at a new market in Adelaide called ‘Damn the Man Night Market’. We’re not sure which man they want damned but we’ll be there to see. It’s in the beautiful Old Queens Theatre in the west of the city, on Thursday night 22nd November. 

Find out more here, then come along to see us please!

Gilles Street will be wedging us in too, between James and his amazing Smooth Revolution, Pedal powered smoothies (and some lady who sells knick -nacks normally). Gilles Street is a great environment for us, lots of good tunes from the dj and lots of happy faces. 

Subtle promotion of our friend Jame's page here, these smoothies are seriously good!

After all that we will be rolling into some parks about the city. We would like to try the west a little more, and would love to try Leigh street, Light square and Whitmore Square.

One more thing! Manu was filmed for a little special on ABC t.v. It will be on the 7:30 Report, as a story about street vending. Erin, part of our Veggie Velo support crew was charming the camera and she and Manu we interviewed for the segment. Go veggie power go! 

So we hope to see you soon on the street. Thanks again for keeping us going, we appreciate each of you, and your veggie loving ways. 

As always, check our facebook page and our calender and maps to find us. 

Thanks guys, love your veg! 
Monica, Veggie Velo support crew

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Sun is Out!

Here we are just completing our first month! Woo hooo! Very happy we are certainly underway, operating and getting into the swing of things. 


We had a beautiful weekend of Veggie Velo life, with a successful day trading on North Terrace on Friday (thanks to Darren for getting the replacement gas bottle, oops, and to the lovely customers who didn’t throw alfalfa sprouts at us when we ran out of gas) then a sunny day in Hindmarsh Square, followed by an evening service on Ebenezer place in front of Treadly Bike store.


In the last couple of weeks we have served a really diverse range of customers, all of which have been an absolute pleasure to deal with, making us smile from sun up to sun down. We were happy to be at the Focus Cycle cross event in the Adelaide park lands in the past week also and discovered a little night life while trading on Ebenezer place for the first time. Excellent! 






And in the past fortnight we received our first reviews! (or at least write ups). Rip it up put an article in the paper about us (SO GOOD!) and now we feel a little more like Adelaide is getting used to seeing us around, even if people still stare when we ride by. 


We also had a nice photographer from the 'Adelaide Matters' magazine stop by to take some photos of Manu. Looking forward to that one!



Looking forward to summer and extending our trading days and hours. It’s going to be fantastic! Its such a pleasure to work standing on the street with our customers, rather than being behind a counter for example. We get to chat to our customers and LOVE hearing their ideas, comments and questions. 

  
Thanks to everyone who lets me take their photo. It makes our day that we get to see your happy faces!

Lately the more common questions have been… “Do you actually ride that here?” We take it as a compliment that we look like a little shop rather than a mobile bicycle, but yes Manu actually rides his shop to work! Here is my (so far) only video of him on the go. 

video

 And a few action shots...



 (The above one is Dan Kouriah making it look easy!)



 Below is a photo of my Dad on Manu's vintage Dutch cargo bike, showing us how its done. (Tweed ride 2012). Cargo bikes are beautifully designed and are easy to ride. The 'Manumobile' as its becoming known, is really really heavy. As its the first he's designed he's had to experiment and use trial and error, but overall its a heavy beast. We estimate its well over 100kgs (maybe around 200kgs) when loaded in the morning and its tough pushing it up even a little hill. Manu is always dreaming up improvements and even a new bike in the future, and it will keep getting easier.

Questions like “Where will you be next Wednesday, and can you come to Victoria Square?”  are also common.

The answer is soon we will be extending our trading days to more than just 2 per week. We will always update our blog and facebook page to let you know where we will be each week. And yes we will come to Victoria square, we are currently working out when, but soon! 

We are busy planning other awesome locations as well, and will soon be putting them on the map! 

So that’s this little blog post summed up, our life is quite full of Veggie Velo at the moment and we love it. All the support from everyone makes us feel grateful to live in such brilliant city, and to be serving such great customers. 

Thank you all so much!

 

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Bring On Spring.



Week Two on the Road


We had a brilliant 3 days of trading last weekend. North Terrace for the first time, Hindmarsh Square on Saturday and then an awesome spot at Format for their annual Bake Sale. (This edition named “Bake to the Future, which made us very happy, bad puns are our favourite)

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Format is an Art Gallery, Zine shop, music venue and all around amazing space.  Go here to find out more about them Format Goodness
Hopefully we can work with them again, the Format festival is coming up and it would be great to be involved and support them. 



We met lots of new people over the weekend and are realising what we are doing is appealing to a much wider range of people than we first thought. We get a lot of elderly people come and talk to us, something that surprised us, but I guess the bike reminds them of a time when their were plenty of people selling goods on the streets from market carts and such? Maybe we are just friendly?
Either way it’s good. We are also finding we are getting plenty of people who are just passing by stopping for a burger, rather than just those who are following us on facebook for example. Excellent!

 

Facebook has been pretty great for us so far. We have only done 2 weeks of trading and have already got a few hundred ‘likes’ on our page. We have been pleasantly surprised by all of this action! (and still feel super happy on the positive feedback we are getting). Facebook is a pretty amazing tool for reaching people we realise, and as we are changing location so regularly we are going to be relying on it to get our customers to visit us. I’ve got a friend on board to help us set up twitter next week (thanks Eliza) and hopefully that gets a few more people onto us too.

This weekend though the weather has been pretty wet and windy, so we have decided to take on only Sunday trading at Gilles Street Market. (if we are lucky it should be undercover) (also, if we are even luckier Monica will get some vintage clothes shopping in, between selling burgers) For more information about this venue go to...


We're also keen to set up a little bit of information on the bike as we are getting a few questions about the amazing ingredients in our food. We use quinoa and amaranth in our burgers and this is what most people are curious about. (You are on the internet so I’m guessing you can google that one yourself for more information), but when on the road people really want on the spot information about what they are buying. Below is my not-so-fancy photo of our fancy un-cooked quinoa.

We use ‘Olive Green Organics’ brand, Organic Andean Grain Mix for our burgers which contains organically grown Quinoa and organically grown Amaranth. Its grown in Bolivia and we’ve chosen it not only because its organic but because it’s a tri-colour quinoa, (rather than just red or white it’s mixed.) This gives it a fuller flavour and you get the health benefits of the seed in its various forms.

Its just such a good thing for vegetarians to get into, and sooo tasty in our burgers.


So that’s pretty much it for this week. We are very keen for the weather to improve, warmer weather will be a pleasant change on the road for sure.
Gilles Street market should be fun tomorrow, hope we see you there!
Monica (Veggie Velo Support Crew)


P.S We are always excited to find new reasons to love Adelaide. We discovered this amazing business this week through our facebook page. Go have a look, its pretty cool, all done with a cargo bike!




Friday, 10 August 2012

What a week!

Wow that week went quickly!

Last Saturday saw us embark on our first ever day of trading. We learnt a lot in a very short amount of time and had a really good day. The bike coped very well with the road, and only required a little bit of extra help going up hill. We have thanked him quite a lot already, but its not enough, we have to thank Dan Kouriah once again for being a vegan iron-man and pushing the velo into the city for us. Such a champion! Dan is a bicycle courier in Adelaide, (has been for something like 20 years!), is the International skid champion (seriously), has competed in the international courier championships in Japan, and is generally an amazing guy. We asked him if he wouldn’t mind pushing the vintage cargo bike in for us and after riding it about 20m he said he wanted more of a challenge. So on the veggie velo he went and didn’t give up until we got there.

 The bike is a pretty impressive sight. The looks on peoples’ faces as we rode by was pretty cool. Lots of people pointing, a lot of attention - Awesome! Saturday was so good and left us with a huge feeling of gratitude to everyone for their support and patience. We also found out how the weather is going to impact a lot on our business. It was fairly windy, not extremely, but just enough to blow the burgers along the chopping board if we didn’t hold them down. Outdoor dining is going to provide us with a few little challenges in the future we think. Over all an awesome day with family, friends and passers-by enjoying veggie burgers off the bike for the first time.
We want to make mention of the awesome support from Dan & Danni, Amber, Jess, Steven and the Watts/Simpson/Davis crew who hung around all day keeping us going, and for Nicole for being our very first paying customer. Thank you!!
Then on Sunday, we were happily off to Semaphore to work with Stuart at Sarah’s Sustainable CafĂ©. This was great! After getting a beating from the wind on Saturday, we had some shelter under the verandah at Sarah’s and had a much better time making burgers. The grill was hot, the music was on, the customers were cruisey and chilled and we had fun. As animal lovers, we were also pleased with the constant stream of dogs walking by with their companion humans. So great.
Thanks to Mel who brought her Mum and her dog to meet us. Both were a treat! We are super happy with the response we are getting from people, loving the burgers, and lots of interest in the bike.

We notice people see the food, chat to us, and then a few moments later realise all of the kitchen is on a bike “Woah, did you ride that here?”. It’s pretty great. (We didn’t actually ride it to Semaphore, we got a lift, but one day, maybe.) Stuart had also organised for some of his bicycle loving friends to be there. Bruce was one character in particular who really inspired us. Bruce had hand built his long style bicycle and trailer himself in the 80’s. He had with him some photos of the building process and of his friends with their custom bicycles, really great. Can you see how long that load is?

Brilliant!

We see and meet riders all the time who inspire us and remind us that with pedal power a lot can be achieved. So this week brings new adventures for the Veggie Velo. Tomorrow we are trading on North Terrace for the first time. We are obliged by the council to have a certain amount of space around us when we trade, and this being a nice wide boulevard, it should be perfect. Then on Saturday we are back in Hindmarsh square. Maybe a slightly different position, but Im sure you will find us. So a big thank you for the incredible support from everyone so far, and wish us luck on our second week of trading. The weather so far looks great. And come and buy a burger and say hello! We want to see your happy faces! Love your veg!