A year on...

Wow what a year it has been. It has been a lot of hard work to get to this point but I can't believe its been a year. The festivals have been fantastic and it has been a lot fun being part of the booming street food scene in London. A year on and it is time to reflect on where we go from here.

We have had some real success in the last few months with starting to supply some farm shops and delicatessens around the Surrey area. It started in the summer when the guys at the Plough Inn came to the Fantastic British Food Festival at Polesden Lacey.  They came to us with a really interesting and exciting proposition. They were setting up a deli on the side of their pub and the plan was to be able to buy things that people can eat in the pub in the deli next door. (Any pub owners out there, take note this is such a great idea!) This got the ball rolling and it has been great to be involved in the development of the deli and fantastic to see our ravioli on the menu in the pub.

As you have seen we get all our meat free-range and from Surrey hill farms and so it is a real pleasure to be selling the end product so locally. We are focusing on growing the supply side of the business and have managed to get into 5 farm shops and deli’s so far with more in the pipeline. We are constantly looking for more opportunities and are excited by the future of this side of the business (especially during winter when being out in a food market really isn’t the one).

But as it starts to get warmer, and it will, eventually, maybe, will it? We are starting to get excited about the markets again. We are booking in a really busy summer of festivals and street food markets so keep an eye out for which ones. For year 2 we hope to continue expanding into lots more shops and gastro pubs whilst keeping the markets and festivals going as well.  If it never gets warmer, at least you can now find the ravioli in the shops!

Where you can buy the ravioli so far:

The Plough inn Deli & Pub, Dorking

Peaslake farm shop, Peaslake

Butcher’s hall & County grocers, Forest Green

Coombe stores, New Malden

Ripley Nurseries Farm shop, Ripley.

The end of the summer

It has all gone a bit quiet online throughout the summer. We apologise for that! hopefully you are keeping up to date on social media which is slightly easier to keep on top of. 

What a summer it has been. Coming third in our British street food awards heat, receiving fantastic feedback from Jane Devonshire the masterchef champ herself! and of course trading at some of the most spectacular national trust areas that you can find. The business is growing in the right direction which is fantastic and hearing people speak so highly of the food is the most satisfying part of it all. To round off the summer we have managed to have three sell out weekends in a row! The BBC good food show, Kirstie Allsopp's handmade fair and the fantastic british food festival at Polesden Lacey were all really great festivals. 

This summer we have really tried to do anything and everything that is out there to see what is the right thing to focus on for next year. Whether it is a heavy rock festival down in Bristol or a small wake boarding festival near thorpe park. To be honest we would probably do them all again and more, It has been a lot of fun being able to travel to all these places and get involved with the festivals. A massive thank you to all those who have helped out so far! It has got us excited for next summer already. 

Now it is time to make a plan for the coming christmas months and beyond. As footfall starts to slow down due to the cold weather we are looking to expand the business elsewhere. Soon i hope to set up an online shop so all of you can get your RaviOllie fix from the comfort of your own home. Once we are up and running with that we hope we can start to tempt some local Deli's into supplying the ravioli too. Its all happening at once and we are buzzing to see what the next few months holds. 

The festival's are not completely over however. We are excited to be doing the Real food market's new market in King's Cross Canopy on the last weekend of October. We are also in talks to do another BBC good food show at Olympia in November as well, and a foodies festivals at the Truman brewery in early November,  so there is still lots to come. Hope to see as many of you down there as possible. Keep up to date on social media for more news and where we are (and i will try to get better at writing these more regularly).

Another Milestone reached!

We celebrated our 3 month anniversary at the Brighton food festival during the first bank holiday weekend in May.  Of course rain was predicted all weekend. Having rolled enough ravioli for three solid days of trading we packed the big yellow van and set off.

Luckily the forecast cleared up and we had beautiful sunny days on the Saturday and Sunday. It was super busy all weekend which was great to see. Our newest RaviOllie recruit Caitlin paired up with Lily were a formidable team and great fun to work with.  We even met Chris Eubank JNR, no doubt a future boxing legend and potential long term RaviOllie fan, sadly didn’t give off the good vibes I was expecting (maybe because he didn’t offer to pay, maybe im just being bitter….who knows). 

The setting was fantastic, right on the front looking over the famous Brighton beaches. We honestly had nothing but good things to say about our Foodie festival experience. The organisation was fantastic, the other traders were friendly and the selection of food was next to none. It was great to spend sometime down in Brighton too. What a qwerky, interesting and fun place to be. The place is full of really genuinely nice people. I can definitely see the attraction of living there. 

A few highlights from the festival: Chilli eating contest! … Meeting Chris Eubank JNR (half a highlight) … being shaken by the hand and congratulated on the delicious food that we had served by three different individuals (made it all worth it).

We will be back to Foodies in the future for sure.

April arrives

 

Things started to get serious for us in April. First up we had our first food festival. The urban food fest in Shoreditch. There was so much potential for this day, the music was load there were seats ready for the sun to beat down on them, (the inevitable...) but the weather just didn’t turn up.  It was a great experience and one to be re-visited later this summer.

Our first private event happened in early April too. 25 hungry workers wanted to be cooked for as a one off special business lunch. We laid on plates of tomato, mozzarella and basil salads, dressed with our homemade sun-dried tomato and basil olive oil. After that was gobbled up we delivered the full works; ravioli, garlic sourdough toast and mixed salad. This was no mean feat for this many people and brought my days as a chef flooding back. The people at moog were a pleasure to cook for, loved meeting all of them and even received some extremely positive feedback.

The biggest thing about April was the start of our regular spot at Lower Marsh Market. Our friends over at Sub cult, who are rated number 3 on Timeout’s best street food stalls, had recommended Lower marsh to us. They are great people over there and feed the public non-stop delicious sandwiches. Having got the advice off the best in town we were excited to get going. They were not wrong. There are a huge number of local business’ in waterloo and they swarm like ants to the market for lunch. It is non-stop from 12-2 and then desertland. The people running the show at we are waterloo are fantastic as well and a pleasure to work for. Time to develop some regulars!

Exciting times ahead

Recently we have started to get excited about having our first summer of trading in London. With London and the surrounding areas in such a street food boom there is so much opportunity to trade at some fantastic festivals. Whether its foodie festivals, music festivals or one day events around the country, we are spoilt for choice. Being spoilt for choice however, does not mean its easy to get to these places, the competition is rife! After spending a lot of time sending off applications to festivals and events around the country to what seemed like no avail. A couple of months down the line we were completely shocked with the response we got. Our Unique stall and interesting food offerings have gained us fantastic feedback and we have been accepted to trade at several places. I wanted to use this oppurtunity to run through some of the festivals that we currently have booked in and how we got some of them.

Urban food fest (April 9th)

We are very exited about this event. Urban food fest are putting on a Saturday market in Shoreditch through march and April and they have chosen us to trade there on the 9th. With thousands of people from the local trendy area of Shoreditch attending it has the makings of a great day. The line up of street food traders is a great one to be amongst as it is showcasing some of the best street food stalls in London. Come down it’s not to be missed!

London Irish Rugby festival (24th April)

A one day event that displays not only fantastic sporting talent but a large selection of some delicious street food stalls. It will be family based with a range of ages, what could be better than a warming bowl of ravioli when you’re getting cold on the sidelines ay?

BBC Good food show (27th – 29th August)

The BBC good food show came about through a bit of luck and some good timing. On a slow day in Kingston our team were doing their best to make everyone at least, try our Ravioli. One such person was taken aback by the quality of the product and couldn’t resist to buy some. Having woofed down a bowl of our popular butternut squash and parmesan ravioli, she revealed that she worked for BBC good food show and would we like to trade at their events…….. After a few seconds of deliberation her offer was accepted and we are now booked in to trade at their stunning event at Hampton court palace!

Foodie festival Brighton/Bristol (30th april – 2nd May/ 13th – 15th may)

Foodie festivals are a fantastic company operating markets across the UK throughout the year. Having just started our adventure into the street food world we are relishing the opportunity to experience some new, different customers in different cities. Lets make the whole of the UK know about RaviOllie!

Blenheim castle (28th-30th May)

To round off a truly non-stop May we have been asked to trade in the spectacular surroundings of Blenheim castle. Fantastic food festivals also put on some great events around the UK and this was one that couldn’t be missed. With some live chef demonstrations and a great atmosphere around the castle this is set to be one to remember.

Bring on summer…….

Don’t forget to check us out on our ‘FIND US’ page and come and grab some delicious ravioli.

First Week of trading and our first real test

The first two weeks of trading at kingston market are over. It was a nerve racking start to say the least. Having battled for months to design the set up it was fantastic seeing it all come together. It made a real impact in the market which was exactly what we were going for. Wednesday and Thursday were great days and it was a pleasure to meet some of the local customers who I hope will become regulars in the future. Friday was marred by rain and wind but it couldn't have been nice three days in a row now could it. As was expected our ravioli was tried an tested by several curious italians that walked past. One man in particular will stick with me for a long time.

As he approached the stall you could tell this man was in for business. He dually planted his own bowl on the counter and requested to try three of each of the RaviOllie fillings with their respective oils. You could hear Ollie's heart going as he dropped the Rav's into the water; RaviOllie's first real test. During the wait the man increased the pressure with stories of ravioli made by his mother, grandmother and great grandmother  back home in Italy. The timer went off and the Ravs were spread out on his bowl and away he went to meticulously taste our ravioli. We could breath again….

Later that afternoon he returned……. "I have to say that ravioli was as good as my grandmothers, congratulations, 5 stars"

What a first review to receive!  

Fantastic to see a lot of friends and family supporting RaviOllie this week.

Having made an impression we have been offered the saturday position at kingston market. Lets hope to see some more of you down there. Bring on the weekend.

 

Menu taster!

Ok I will give you one………….the rest are secret!

1kg Petite Pois Peas
250g Smoked bacon rashers
125g Ricotta
125g Crème Fraiche
Half a Bunch of Freshly chopped Mint

 

Grill the bacon until crispy, Boil the peas until they are just past defrosted (do not overcook).  Add the Riccotta to the crème fraiche and mix well. Add bacon to peas and mash. Then add the Riccotta and mix until you have a creamy texture. Not too wet otherwise the pasta will be soggy. Stir in the freshly chopped mint at the end. Now fill your ravioli and enjoy.

That’s it! Couldn’t be simpler