Word of mouth is the best advertising they say; and if you’re product is of the best quality, word of mouth is guaranteed.
That’s exactly what has happened to fledgling business ‘Gourmet Street Food’ which every week has island foodies eagerly awaiting their next tasty gourmet fix.
Gourmet Street Food is run by Kelly and Paul Widdop who moved with their four children from Yorkshire to Breasclete five years ago – and the Gourmet Street Food trailer was actually bought to help move the family belongings! “We spent a long time looking for a business which we could do together and that worked in with the kids,” expanded Paul. “We actually bought the trailer to move up here, but we converted it and started the business this year.”
Kelly added: “We thought Stornoway was crying out for something like this but we’ve been surprised by how quickly it’s taken off! I think it’s because we offer something unique, we don’t interfere with what’s already here.” Indeed, having been trading for only eight weeks, set up in Perceval Square on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the Gourmet Street Food trailer regularly has long queues waiting for a delicious dinner – and is making some famous fans.
“We had ‘Granny Island’ from Struay [Katie Morag’s home island] say our Mocha coffee was the best on the island the other day!” said Kelly.
With bean-to-cup coffees, specialist teas supplied by The Hebridean Tea Store in Stornoway, and home baking made by Kelly, there is plenty on offer – but it is the gourmet food that has people talking as they enjoy rolls, baguettes, paninis and more with scrumptious fillings like roast beef with oxtail marmalade, Dijon and braised onions; or whisky and orange cured salmon on a bagel with cream cheese and gingered wholegrain mustard!
“We always use local produce,” said Paul. “Our black pudding is from Willie John’s butchers, we use Stag Bakery, our sweet dried cured bacon is from MacLeod & MacLeod butchers, and also the Veggie Box. “We also have fish and scallops on a Saturday from local sources, and the black pudding and scallop rolls always go quickly!”
An ex-military man Paul is ‘used to cooking for lots of people’ and many of the recipes have been inspired by the family’s overseas trips to Spain, France, Portugal and further afield where trying the local cuisine is a must for the Widdops.
“We experiment ourselves and try out different flavours – the kids are our guinea pigs,” Kelly chuckled.
And with so much influence, the Gourmet Street Food menu changes every week – so the Widdops have turned to social media to keep customers updated about what is on and where they are.
“We have a Facebook page – ‘Gourmet Street Food Stornoway’ – and it’s been fantastic at the speed which people Like us,” said Paul. “We get a lot of positive comments which is great and we can see people sharing the menu – it seems to go all the way round the council office and one postman has it as his homepage so he always knows what’s on offer!”