So last week saw FlipnFast’s first ‘proper’ outing.. we’d had a couple of trial runs and a quiet stint on a business park. But this time we had a QUEUE! Things may just be getting started, but it’s taken months of planning, blood, sweat, tears and burns to get to this point. Back in September 2015, fed up of sitting in an office five days a week, I decided it was time for a change.
I’m Anna, the creative crepe maker. I had spent twelve years working in telecoms, sitting at a desk. The best thing about the job was chatting to customers and colleagues but I’d had enough of sitting staring at a screen all day. I had no plans when I left my safe job behind, but I wanted to be out and about doing something interesting. I joked with friends about having a pancake van by the sea. Why? I like pancakes, I like vans and I like the sea. It really is that simple. I didn’t think much about the early mornings (luckily I like these too), all the cleaning, all the desk based work that also needs to be done.
So the joke became an idea which, with some encouragement, became a plan. Pancakes became crepes (they’re bigger, don’t complain!), a van became a pod and by the sea became anywhere I can find hungry people. I developed a ‘brand’… with this I have tried to create something fun, quirky, ethical and enticing. I hope you like it as much as I do. I have learnt that making crepes is not always simple. The tools of the trade can be temperamental. The first proper trial run in the pod, I ended up dashing off for some new crepe rings as the ones installed in the pod were not yet non stick, despite meticulously following the manufacturer’s instructions for ‘seasoning’ the rings with oil.
I won’t mention the time I almost set the pod on fire(!). I make my batter from scratch and am still finding ways to improve my recipes. So far it’s been a bit hit and miss as to how well it will spread on the rings, though it always tastes great.
I have spent lots of time finding some amazing producers and I am so passionate about their products! See my eyes light up if I get to talk you about how the cows that provide my milk choose when to visit the milking robot (which often turns them away as the cheeky ladies have just been milked and are trying to get extra food), that the Northumberland Cheese is to die for and you really must try it, or that my coffee is roasted locally and the best coffee I’ve ever tasted.
If I was to go back and order my pod again, I might do one or two things a little differently. It’s a bit stressful when you realise that your 82kg coffee machine is actually a bit too heavy for the bench on which it sits, and things are starting to fall to pieces. Never mind, nothing that can’t be fixed.
Anyway, I’m here now. I have my brand, I have my wonderful pod and I can just about make a crepe. I love making up new fillings that aren’t quite what you’d expect in a crepe. I’m sure the learning curve will be steep for some time to come, and that not every crepe will be perfect, but I will get out there as much as I can and look for people as passionate about enjoying crepes as I am. No doubt there will be many more stressful moments and the odd disaster.
The funny thing is… my favourite thing about this job so far? Chatting to people (some things don’t change). I feel very lucky that, since deciding to change my life, I have met so many new people; whether it’s been passing a few minutes chatting while I make a crepe, or the new friends I’ve made along the way. I also feel lucky that I have had so much support and encouragement from friends and family. If you happen to see the FlipnFast pod out and about, or if you spot the logo at an indoor event, please come over and say hi.