A Spotlight on The Boxx n Bar

The Boxx n Bar

We recently caught up with Grace Breen, founder of vegan street food business Boxx n Bar to see how the last 12 months or so have gone since we featured them in our magazine.  

We last caught up with you in 2022, what have been the highlights since?

Just a few to mention would be trading at a Harry Styles gig, also The Killers and Rammstein. Then there’s Godiva Festival of course. Getting our new van was a major highlight and we’ve been really pleased to develop partnerships with the likes of Warwick University, The Farm Animal Sanctuary in Evesham, Eat Street Repeat Festivals, as well as lots of vegan markets, weddings and private bookings.

I was also given an opportunity to be a judge for the Foodie Awards last year and to judge the Vegan Taste Award – we won an award in 2022 ourselves as Street Food Trader of the Year!

Tell us all about your new van?

We found the van pretty much done up as it is – we were super lucky especially after having had a bit of bad luck last year when we had put a deposit down on a van that didn’t work out for many reasons.

The van really suits our look and we are going to use this next 12 months to invest further into it – we are looking into branding for it and adding a few bits and pieces to continuously improve our service times. We have already seen a drastic improvement in how quickly we can serve and it’s giving us greater potential for bigger events. Inside we have better equipment and more space – the staff are all really happy with the new van too and its definitely made everyone’s lives a lot easier.

What events are you most looking forward to this year?

We continue to hold great relationships with some brilliant events this year and are keeping our fingers crossed on some really huge applications we have made too.

As previously mentioned, we are looking forward to continuing to develop relationships with our partners and due to the new van, we are able to host further private bookings now too. We still have the horsebox and so are able to deliver at two events at any one time when required.

Three things you wish you’d known when starting out?

Research events and do some homework. How many people are attending, how many other traders are on, how much stock do you need? Ensure it is a legitimate event as there seems to be increasing numbers of scammers out there.

Shop around to keep costs down. The local wholesaler is not always the most cost effective place to shop and buy in bulk where you can.

Join the services that are there to help you. NCASS of course is a godsend for knowledge, industry requirements and law, training etc. Forums on Facebook are also good for help for guidance on so many things too.

What do you love most about working in the independent hospitality industry?

We love meeting new people and getting to serve at a wide range of events. We have met some wonderful people we now consider as friends as well as meeting some fantastic traders. Everyone is so supportive of one another and you can always rely on the other traders if you ever need any help.

We love adapting our menu to create specific requests for bespoke events too and it gives us a real opportunity to share our love and passion for vegan food.

Benefitting from some of the music events is a real treat as you get to see some of your favourite bands playing – this can be a great perk for staff too.

What’s your go-to meal on a treat night?

I love Thai food – so anything Thai for me is a real go to. We love cooking Thai food at home and after a successful Thai takeover night in Kenilworth last January at the Butchers Bistro, we hope that now we have more space, we can infuse the odd special every now and again.

If you could collaborate with any business, who would it be and why?

We would love to collab with a fellow vegan restaurant. We love the POD in Coventry – a lot of their produce is grown by Food Union Coventry, their business is council run and their core work is mental health social advocacy. We love what their message is and it would be great to work together at some point in the kitchen. We are working with the Food Union in Coventry this summer – but a collab at some point would be fab!

What restaurants do you love to eat at in your spare time?

We love to support local independent businesses as much as we can – extra points for an independent vegan spot! We also love to attend local street food events as and where we can. If we are going to a high-street restaurant then it is pretty much always Wagamama’s!

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