Matt Thompson 1974 Hi Top
I always wanted a Dub, typical that in my youth i had not the funds to run one nor the space to store one. After ‘growing-up' (whatever that means) and becoming thoroughly fed up with my chosen career path i decided to digress and follow one of those daft occupational ideas which sit in the back of your head. Mine was like; “Surely running a VW juice van would be the best thing ever!……wouldn't it!?. Selling good stuff in a cool bus in nice places, that's the dream right there!”. Following a minor life shake-up, the opportunity came along so i wrote a business plan, sought some funding and bought a '74 Hochdach Bay which i refurbed and converted into a mobile Smoothie & Espresso Bar.
She was originally a service vehicle for the German government it had been imported in 2006 and cobbled into a camper. When i picked her up in 2012 she was in reasonable condition externally but proper manky inside. Once stripped and cleaned she was in good shape to start work which primarily consisted of a considerable amount of planning, as it was to become my occupation and only source of income it had to be in the workshop for as shorter time as possible between investing and earning. Measure twice, cut once & all that. Being a designer by trade it gave me somewhat of a leg-up when it came to turning fiction to reality, as i wanted an extensive menu the complications of making such a compact yet functional catering space were many and varied not least of which being the control of stuff like electrical draw & supply, water in & out, stock & suppliers. Once you get down to the nuts & bolts of it all it becomes a somewhat extensive list of logistics & equipment including a chest freezer, under counter fridge, 2 1.5kw blenders, pressurised jug rinser, coffee grinder & knockout, centrifugal juicer, triple juice dispenser, 2 group espresso machine, flow jet pump, 2 x diaphragm pumps, double sink, at least 100litres of fresh water containment, generator, leisure battery, 2 x 18kg gas bottles, fire extinguisher, sales hatch & serving space, preperation space, dry stock storage (cups, lids, coffee, tea, & a million other things) and because i can't keep a trailer, the capacity to carry 2 sets of 4 x chairs & table, plus all signage & menus, and everything accessible and wipe clean.
Along with creating my own occupation I really wanted to constructively contribute to the community by producing something of high quality & nutritional value and to the awesome VW subculture by sympathetically combining a classic vehicle with a modern product and thusly an interesting Dub to opitomise the legacy of the VW Camper. Being a typical VW it's not been without suffering mechanical snags, she's been through 3 engine rebuilds over 2 engines within 18 months, some being through bad luck some thanks to cowboy mechanics. Now she's running a 1776 with twin Kadrons, 100 cam and a lightened flywheel in matching orange & white.
What i didn't expect when creating such a business was to become part of the amazing and influential ‘Revolution' of modern street food tradeing here in the UK. The Juice Dub and i have traded at events from small local school fetes to the Formula 1 British Grand Prix and everything in between. We recently participated in the British Street Food Awards in which we came runner up in the Best Looking Mobiler category. We now trade almost exclusively for the National Trust in the forest of Ashridge, Hertfordshire.