End of Summer Reflection
With the closing of Street Feast’s Dalston Yard market last week, and Model Market Last night, it signalled the end of our massive summer run of events, it was also our last night out in London for a couple of months while we set up our first bricks and mortar restaurant.
When Street Feast first set up in a disused car-park in Dalston it was an area on the outskirts, and over the three years they’ve been operating there the area has been radically transformed; with new restaurant, cafe, and bar openings placing Dalston, and the whole of East London at the epicentre of the new wave of hospitality in the UK.
I strongly believe that the transformative power of food cannot be underestimated, the first incarnation of Rola Wala, ‘Wallah Wallah’ first started on the streets of London a couple of years ago as a small market stall with a big hessian banner slinging £5 rolls to the unsuspecting public in a very dishevelled Kings Cross. If you look at Kings Cross today, its a booming cultural hub – a unique intersection of transport, education, business, and hospitality – the result of smart urban planning that put food at the heart of its redevelopment effort, and continues to do so today.
Since those early days, I’ve been dreaming of creating a food business that puts a vibrant, fresh, high quality food experience at the forefront of every meal, unlike many of the chains that long ago let business strategy determine their product. Our entry into Leeds is an opportunity to stand side by side with the big boys and make this dream a reality, by putting an authentic street-food experience at the heart of the retail experience.
The decision to leave London to take this opportunity is a risk, but we’re here in Leeds to do something totally new and exciting, putting food that we’re proud of at the heart of what we do, and having some fun in the process. Since our April pop-up in Trinity Kitchen in Leeds I’ve had a strong appreciation for what the city has to offer, and now it’s time to see if Leeds like what we have to offer them – balls on the block, but whatever happens you can bet that Rola Wala will come back to London for a homecoming very soon, and as always bigger and better than ever.