Two music-loving Manchester chefs are giving festivalgoers a chance to have some ‘Salt-n-Pepa’ with their ‘Snoop Doggy Cod’.
Luke Stocks and Jonathan Oswald, both 31, were featured on MM back in February when they were launching their unusual food venture. Now the pair are touring the country with their Hip-Hop-Chip-Shop burger van in which they mix epic dance moves with imaginative culinary creations.
The rap-themed mobile takeaway offers music lovers funk-themed food such as ‘onion blings’, fish raps and mushy peeps.
MM covered the launch of the duo’s venture back in February and the business has been a sizzling success so far.
The pair have just finished a busy weekend at the Boom Bap Festival, and upcoming events include a ‘kitchen takeover’ at Brewdog Manchester on August 10 and Manchester Food and Drink Festival in September.
They plan to continue touring their idea around some of the UK’s best musical festivals, serving peckish partygoers to the sound of classic hip hop.
Jonathan – known as Ozzie – came up with the idea in 2010 while listening to Can I Kick It? hip hop icons A Tribe Called Quest.
He then used social media to promote the idea and moved quickly to secure the rights to the internet domain name.
The fast-food entrepreneur said: “The first step I took was when I put up a Facebook update which said ‘Ozzie thinks he should open up a hip hop chip shop’, it was a really spur of the moment idea really and I thought ‘bugger it I’m going to buy the URL’ and had this vision in front of me.
“I thought it would be amazing to open up a hip hop restaurant which served fish and chips but the idea had always ultimately been to open up a fleet of vans.
“Luke got involved in 2011 when the first idea came around. We got to know each other more and became more positive about it and thought ‘let’s just do it’, it was a natural progression really which evolved.”
— Hip Hop Chip Shop (@thehiphopchippy) July 10, 2014
After being rejected for a business loan by several banks the duo were finally able to secure their funds after enlisting the help of Ozzie’s auntie and uncle as guarantors.
Buoyed by the support of friends and family and with their brand new van ‘pimped- out’ to look like a retro boom box speaker, the Hip Hop Chip Shop is now focusing on their food.
Luke, who has experience in several different areas of catering, including fine dining, insists the culinary side of the operation must be perfect.
He said: “Fish and chips is definitely my favourite type of food, I was brought up on fish Fridays.
“I wanted to showcase better fish and chips as a lot of festival food is really soggy and horrible and I wanted to make everything from fresh.
“I want us to be known for our food as well as the brand. The quality of food is important. If the brand is good and the food isn’t it won’t last, I just have to keep my standards high.
“It’s cool to see people responding positively to our ideas. We want to branch out past fish and chips and we can move it into different types of food so like fish kebabs and things.
“We want to keep the menu simple so that people recognise us but add and takeaway depending on what people like.”
A big fan of the popular Friday night supper, Ozzie claims that no one has else has put a unique slant on the traditional ‘chippy-tea’.
He said: “We are bringing in all different influences as that’s what hip hop is, it takes its style from funk, jazz and soul, and that is the ethos we want for the food. We can take inspiration from Thai, American Soul and even Malaysian food.”
— Hip Hop Chip Shop (@thehiphopchippy) July 7, 2014
The pair put their success down to hard work and determination, admitting to have only taken two days off since February.
Luke said: “This last month has been exhausting, we have put our souls into it, but we have such a strong work ethic. Every day I feel like we have to work our arses off.
“This is the first time my parents have been proud of me, it scares me a bit, I didn’t really do well at university but now I have my teeth in something I am really passionate about.
“My girlfriend Alicia has been so supportive, she helps us all the time, she is so organised and pulls me in line when I get stressed.
“I couldn’t have done it without her, plus my job has been so supportive letting me prep in the kitchen.”
Ozzie added: “We surround ourselves with such high work ethic. My girlfriend Holly has to keep putting me into check, she is fantastic and I don’t know anyone who works as hard as her. It’s inspiring to watch her work.
“Our first event at B.eat Street was massively overwhelming and it went down a storm. I nearly cried a few times, I was terrified, depressed, and happy – every single human emotion – as I have no experience with catering really by my girlfriend had.
“I would say we are a tribe, a chip tribe. As soon as you are in it grips you for life, we are definitely a family here.”
Story via Cavendish Press