So the financials for 2017 were terrible. But that was expected with the move to Port Alberni and the other issues we encountered.
So we’re not going to let it stop us, and the small decision has been made to continue. It’s an important step.
Exactly what FORM we’ll be continuing in is still being debated. The largest we’ll go is the Dodge RAM ProMaster (Fiat Ducato in disguise) food truck. But we’re considering a number of different options, all the way down to an electric assist trike, although that latter is very unlikely.
We’re still working out way through a number of other obstacles before we throw ourselves fully into this again. We might even miss most of the upcoming season, unfortunately, depending on how quickly we can get those obstacles cleared away.
But Bistro Breizh will be back.
No decisions, designs, or plans made to continue the business. Trying to see if the food truck is actually a viable business in Port Alberni, or if it’s just a hobby whose ongoing costs pay for themselves but forget making a living at it. So far… could go either way. Then I’ll have to decide if I care… which is a totally different decision. I really, really enjoyed making crepes and galettes, which will be part of the decision.
Just a quick post to let everyone know I’m not dead… yet. Just resting. Pining for the fjords. That sort of thing.
So I’ve finally managed to clear out some of the clutter from the trailer, and it’s more or less (perhaps more less than more?) ready for sale. I still need to build more shelves in the house to be able to take more stuff from the trailer, but that’s another long tale.
So: FOOD TRAILER and TRUCK FOR SALE. Prices are somewhat negotiable for the trailer, less negotiable for the truck. Includes my very loved Honda EU-7000is generator (but you have to buy the trailer to get it…!).
Check this out: http://bistrobreizh.com/sale
Once it’s sold, or the house is sold, then I can start building the food truck I should have built when I started.
For the new food truck I’m inspired by the following. As you can imagine (and as I’ve discussed with some of you) this is not a new line of thinking. I’ve been imagining this since the first year in operation.
In terms of functionality and practicality, I’ll be looking at the modern version of a traditional French market truck / food truck. Based on a modern front-wheel drive van, it’s practical and economical. The three main brands are Renault (not available here), Citroen (also not available here) and the Fiat Ducato. Which, as chance may have it, is sold as a Dodge Ram ProMaster here in Canada. Something like this:
or perhaps a more square body like this:
However, in my dreams I would use a modernized Citroen Hy van. Last built in the 1960’s [correction: they were built from 1948 to 1981!!], it’s become the iconic French mobile crêperie, and I WANT ONE! Unfortunately, high prices and higher maintenance costs are probably going to put this out of my reach. Especially since I’d need to buy the shell, transport it to Canada, then have someone else effectively replace everything but the body. But darnit, I find them so damned cute! There’s even a 100% electric one somewhere in the UK:
Of course, this being Port Alberni, I might need to have a slightly different version, to whit:
Until later, thanks for reading.
Right. Hi fans. Won’t be cross-posting to anywhere other than my Facebook page. Just a message to my fans.
Although the latest generator loading mishap was annoying, it wasn’t the only thing going wrong with my current setup. I didn’t rage-quit over not being able to load a generator. It was a decision that was made over a few months, and this just triggered it.
Over the last few months I’ve come to the conclusion that the truck and trailer setup I currently have is not suited to where I wanted to take the business. I was going to keep operating until I got some money in from the sale of my house in Nanaimo, then attempt a smooth transition. But over the last month a number of issues have cropped up that require that I either invest much more money in the current setup, which I know will not work in the long run no matter what I do, or stop until I have a better set of tools. I’ve elected to do the latter.
There was some discussion at home about whether I would even continue doing this, or take the money and just create a low-key retirement. But I’ve decided that I love doing it enough to build a better food truck and get back on the road. Requirements and designs have started being drawn up, and I hope it won’t take too long once I get the money to do it. It’ll be a purely European style cross between a market stall and a food truck, and I’ll post drawings and pictures over time just to whet people’s appetites.
So Bistro Breizh isn’t dead. It’s just resting. I can’t promise for how long it’ll be resting, but I will be back, and Port Alberni (and the region) will have Breton galettes and crêpes again.
your local crêpier.
tl;dr: Bistro Breizh is closing. Indefinitely.
05:15 on Friday morning. I’ve had enough of this ongoing failure. This time it’s the winch I use to get the generator into the back of the truck. Of course, as is usual with these things, it fails when I really need it, even though it was working just a few days ago when I tested it. I’ve been trying for over an hour to get the generator into the back of the truck by myself, and I just can’t do it. I’m just too weak. Since the hospital has no power for me, I can’t open today.
Or ever, at least not with my current setup.
I’m closing for the foreseeable future. I’ve had enough of trying to make this work reliably for a one-person show. I’ve disappointed too many people, including myself, too often. The trailer as it stands now would work beautifully for 2 or more people, serving a higher volume of food. But not for me, not on my own, not for a low-volume operation.
I’m going to re-evaluate the whole setup. First thing I’m going to do is I’ll be selling the truck and trailer immediately. Hopefully someone can use it as it was meant to be used. Then seeing if I can continue making crêpes as a one-person show in some fashion. I really love what I’m doing, I just can’t keep doing it with the equipment I’ve got. Maybe a tiny food truck with everything, including the generator, built-in? Or maybe just find something else to do and make crêpes for kicks at events? Or something. I don’t know yet. This decision has been a long time in the making, but this latest failure was truly the last straw that broke the camel’s back (figuratively… mostly).
I really wanted to get to the hospital at least one more time. However, the only way I’m getting to the hospital today is if I go up there because I seem to have damaged my back trying to brute-force the generator into the truck.
My apologies to everyone.
So Bistro Breizh is open this week as follows: (with locations this time!)
- Tuesday 17 Oct (today): 09:30 to 14:00 at Burde Beans. It was sunny.
- Wednesday 18 Oct: 09:30 to 14:00 at Burde Beans
- Thursday 19 Oct: closed
- Friday 20 Oct: 10:00 to 14:30 at West Coast General Hospital. !!.
- Saturday and Sunday, 21/22 Oct: closed. Probably. Maybe? Any requests?
I obviously wasn’t paying attention when I said I’d be open today. It’s going to be an interesting day, opening during a storm that’s earned a weather warning. I guess it’ll be a good test of how water proof the trailer is when the side is open… and how weather proof the crêpier is.
Yes, still opening. I said I would. We’ll be at Burde Beans today at least, and probably tomorrow unless something goes wrong. I’m going to try to open at the hospital on Friday.
Please note that Burde Beans has an indoor area where you can eat the crêpes or galettes. Heck, I’ll even deliver the items to you inside after you order. So you won’t need to brave the weather all that much to get your crêpes or galette.
So won’t be open Monday after all as I need some more parts. However, the core of the work is done and I can get the parts locally (just not on a Sunday) so we will be opening Tuesday and Wednesday, closed Thursday, then open again Friday.
- Monday 16 Oct: closed
- Tuesday 17 Oct: 09:30 to 14:00
- Wednesday 18 Oct: 09:30 to 14:00
- Thursday 19 Oct: closed
- Friday 20 Oct: 09:30 to 14:00
- Saturday 21 Oct: closed
- Sunday 22 Oct: closed.
At least one of those days I hope to open at the hospital, but since it can’t be on my usual day (Thursday) I need to discuss that with the administration there. The rest of the time I’ll be opening at Burde Beans. Check back here for details as I get them.
Found an alternative solution that lets me keep my current pump (hey, it works just fine!) but still toss out the 12v electrical system. But I’ve had to order the parts online since I was unable to find what I needed locally. It’s going to take a little while to receive it, install it, test it, and so on.
So I’m going to go out on a limb and say “I’ll open Monday, 16 October”. With the caveat “check here for updates if/when that plan doesn’t survive meeting reality”.