Naturya's WOMAD experience
Having had 48 hours back to enjoy the comforts of the real world and the basic necessities of hot showers, nice loos and comfortable beds, away from the confines of the Superfood Kitchen and the madness that is Womad, we thought it would be a good idea to reflect on Naturya’s Superfood Kitchen’s festival debut.
Set up began on Monday with the arrival of ‘Delilah’, our trusty trailer and our refrigeration facilities. The majority of unloading and setting up happened on Tuesday to Wednesday and was relatively swift. We quickly learnt that to be a trader at a festival, you need to be feisty, fearless and not too friendly when it comes to securing your pitch, as it is a fight for space. Despite a few mishaps of us not being put down as a ‘caterer’, resulting in no water, gas or electricity being delivered, food prep and smoothie making was under way by Thursday morning, in a mad rush to reach a state of organised chaos before opening our hatches to the world of Womad.
A vegan stall in an ethical and global festival like Womad was definitely a great combination, especially as we were the only food store that was purely vegan . The amount of excitement people got from us saying we were a fully vegan, gluten free and dairy free store was enormous. Customers announced a variety of restricted diet requests and it was satisfying that 98% of the time we could offer them food that was still delicious and not second best to a gluten or dairy option. Breakfast to lunch was the peak time for us, offering a slightly alternative Indian vada breakfast, artistically decorated smoothie bowls and a selection of supercharged smoothies. The yogis appeared with yoga mats in hand after their morning yoga session or tai-chi class to buy their Powerhouse Green smoothie, which was by far the most popular, to get them that much needed health kick. As the days passed, and the hangovers got worse, the more smoothies were sold, perhaps the term ‘superfood’ and the sight of ‘green’ appealed to the hungover and tired state of mind.
The falafels, mushroom burgers and fries were a massive hit. Our promoters worked their magic, looking glam in their Naturya sunglasses and enticing groups of people to try one of the tasters they had on offer. It appeared that once people got over the ‘umms’ and ‘ahhhs’ of the unappealing sound of wheatgrass and hemp or the fact that vegetables were in our smoothie, they swallowed their pride and approached the van to get ‘whatever [they] just tried’. It was great to see friendly faces of customers returning every day, some of them coming three to five times a day for the duration of the festival! The feedback we received was fantastic, people calling us ‘life saviours’ and a few guys saying that this is the first festival they had gone home from, feeling better than they did when they arrived! Customers were really impressed with the quality of the food we produced, all credits to Kirstie and Meryl for their amazing cooking. We wanted to show people just how easy it is to incorporate superfoods into their diet and how delicious, nutritious food can be. I feel that this message was well received by the customers and they seemed genuinely enthused to go home and try them out for themselves. There was also a lot of interaction with the brand itself and people were inquisitive about the superfood products and Naturya as a company. It’s safe to say I will be staying away from superfood falafels, flapjacks and energy balls for the next few weeks, having slightly over-indulged during the festival, to the extent where we pretty much lived and breathed superfoods! All the team put so much energy into staying positive, despite being two men down and the group of people we had definitely helped make it such an enjoyable experience. Everyone went the extra mile and we had a great laugh.
Womad itself is an amazing festival to go to and definitely didn’t disappoint. It felt like a very family friendly, fun and chilled festival to be working at. The atmosphere of the arena was amazing and the constant buzz of music, madness and merry festival entertained us all in the van. For those wanting to relax and redeem themselves from the previous night, the wellness area is the place to go offering massages, gong baths, reflexology, tarot readings and spiritual healing. On our final day, we struck a deal with one of the healing treatment tents there; 2 falafel wraps and smoothies, in exchange for us to be hung by our feet upside down to stretch our bodies and re-energise our cells. Whether this actually works or not is another question, but perhaps psychologically it made us feel more virtuous and enabled us to power on through the final hours of smoothie making and energy ball rolling! Without a doubt, there is something there for everyone and the atmosphere made it a vibrant and fun place to work and experience a festival for the first time. We were quite lucky with the weather during the festival. Not surprisingly, it rained every day and on two days it rained A LOT, but these down pours were brief and we were blessed with sunshine on some days which was a definite morale booster.
Thank you to everyone who visited us and hopefully we will see you all soon.