06 | Aug | 16

Hugh Thomas

Got Cojones?

Have you got the balls for street food? The Arancini Brothers have. That’s why we’ve invited them to trade at Trinity Kitchen this winter. But recently they ran a Kickstarter campaign to keep Brian (their van) on the road and, ergo, their risotto balls on the street. It didn’t take off.

These things fail all the time, and in truth it’s not always out of a bad idea. Sometimes the project wasn’t well put out there (if at all). Sometimes it wasn’t timely. Sometimes the incentives aren’t quite right.

Unfortunately, and despite their general successes, The Arancini Bros are in familiar company. Take The Pizza Bike who, in their own words, ‘suck’ at crowdfunding. Even though they got nowhere near their target of £21,000 needed to upgrade their fleet, ‘the show must go on,’ they said.

And they weren’t joking – The Pizza Bike’s been covering a helluva lot of ground around Bath, Bristol and Glastonbury since, and their pizza was deemed ‘bloody good’ by Rosemary Shrager at this year’s Wales and West heat in Brizzle.

Of course, there are some who do pass the Kickstarter test. The Rib Man smashed his target to help his Holy Fuck sauce cope with demand a couple of years ago.

Cat Hoang’s No Tacos – which, aptly, does nothing but – wanted to bring affordable tacos to Manchester’s streets. Turned out Mancunians did too, and helped fund the costs of buying and putting a van on the road. Then there’s Tupiniquim, which was saved from extinction by hungry Edinburgh residents and visitors because, apparently, they hadn’t had enough of Brazilian crêpes.

The point is this – sure, most campaigns are unsuccessful, and sure, many never even leave the ground unless someone behind it has a good marketing head. But no one got anywhere in this business, whether they are faced with having to ask for money or not, without the balls to do it.