Papa Ganoush is a mezze bar at heart. We have found inspiration in Paris’s Jewish Quarter, Amsterdam, Jordan and Turkey but we wanted to incorporate ingenuity, skill and thought into our own style of Middle Eastern Food and together share the additional nutritional benefits and fantastic taste with the people in the North.
It started with redundancy. Two of them. We had lost our jobs around the same time, Tom as a Chef and Tim as a “suit” A bit of bumbling around mixed with a splash soul searching led father and son on a mission to work together in a passion they had both shared, food.
With ‘Street Food’ in a 2011 Newcastle-Upon-Tyne not quite harnessing the reputation our southern counterparts held, to say selling Falafel in Consett, Co.Durham was like selling smack to Her Majesty. Not Happening. But as the Street Food drum rolled up North things took a turn,
By 2012 we were appearing at our now ‘home’ Quayside market every Sunday and also a debut at the 2nd ever Boilershop Steamer in Newcastle and we sold out for the first time ever (its’ a nice feeling). By mid 2012 we took the plunge and added Abi, our first staff member who is still with us today, one of the best business decisions we ever made.
2013 and we were beginning to stray farther afield to Leeds and Manchester. We hired an accountant. Bought another van. Another Gazebo and hired another three staff members. We took the plunge in 2013 and it payed off. Seeing nearly three times the turnover with us rolling out our 30,000th flatbread, Who needs steroids!
By now street food was showing signs of evolution up here and the pavements were getting full of new traders and new events were popping up with promises of riches. We took on our first prep kitchen unit and it made life so much easier. By now we were getting well know and getting invited to every part of the UK and at times took the plunge and went. This was our next learning curve; that you have to work out your costs before you get caught up in the heady atmosphere of big festivals. We were being written about too in the press and on line and traded at our first vegan festival.
Mama Ganoush was born!
We moved to a bigger unit we were doubling up where we could at events. This became problematic so we used a bigger gazebo with more staff at one event and this made things better. It caused one problem though, we were stopped from going to one market because “the other traders are moaning; you take all the trade” We were now experimenting with our food and trying different things. The Chicken and falafel were big sellers so we altered the salads and style of hummus.
The future? Well a new Mezze Bar, Residency and permanence… thats the plan and we are working hard to achieve it… watch out for updates.