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Meat and Greet, Suffolk Coffee Pod and Dan the Pizza Man are three street food vans making their mark on the county



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Street food and drink vans have exploded in popularity since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Suffolk residents are now served by a wide-range of food vans, whether it's at a busy Bury St Edmunds market or right on their doorstep.

From Thai food to smoked meats, there are options galore for people across the county, and here are some of the businesses taking Suffolk by storm.

Lee Gaught, owner of Meat and Greet. Picture: Meat and Greet
Lee Gaught, owner of Meat and Greet. Picture: Meat and Greet

1. Meat and Greet BSE

Launched three years ago, Meat and Greet's produce has been leaving customers salivating at the mouth.

Initially a food delivery service, Lee Gaught spotted a gap in the market and his business has become a popular feature in the street food scene in Suffolk.

While business boomed at the start of the pandemic, it was Lee's friends who suggested starting a street food concept. Almost a year into the new venture, it has left Lee optimistic.

Lee initially started the business as a meat delivery service. Picture: Meat and Greet
Lee initially started the business as a meat delivery service. Picture: Meat and Greet

Working from his van, he grills a wide-range of meats, including steak with rosemary skin on chips served with a homemade secret chimichurri sauce.

Lee said: “Steak is a bit niche but I do burgers and it is steak mince. The quality of the food on Bury market is extremely high, but it is not your bang average burger. I have had people come each week saying this is the best steak I have had in years."

Although perhaps unusual for a traditional takeaway, the idea proves that anything goes with street food.

Lee uses an American-style cooker to grill his meats. Picture: Meat and Greet
Lee uses an American-style cooker to grill his meats. Picture: Meat and Greet

When asked why he thinks street food has grown in popularity, the entrepreneur, who also does private events, added: "Street food owners wear their hearts on their sleeves, are passionate and want to offer quality.

“We all get along well on Bury market and reciprocate work. There is that competitive edge but there is quite a nice community feel on the market."

Meat and Greet food van can be found at Bury St Edmunds market on a Saturday, Sudbury's Thursday market and Mildenhall on Friday.

Dan the Pizza Man

Like his colleague in the industry, Dan the Pizza Man was influenced by the pandemic to start a fresh and new venture.

Having worked in the hospitality industry for seven years, a mixture of furlough and spending more time in his garden inspired him to make fresh pizza.

"I got furloughed and I just spent a lot of time in the garden and started doing pizza," he said.

Dan the Pizza Man serves a wide range of pizza options. Picture: Dan the Pizza Man
Dan the Pizza Man serves a wide range of pizza options. Picture: Dan the Pizza Man

After initially starting in the midst of the pandemic, Dan, of half Slovenian and half Croatian heritage, brought the business to a halt over the winter months as his gazebo could not cope with the bad weather.

However, he started up again earlier this month after buying a van during that time.

His fresh pizzas have already been a roaring success, with his main trade coming from positions at RAF Lakenheath and West Row Village Hall.

With a new menu launching in the coming months, the pizza lover believes the rise in street food vans is down to people wanting to support local businesses.

"I think a lot of people are more conscious of supporting local businesses," added Dan.

"If they had a choice of eating out from a small business they would choose that.

"People love food and people love food if they can support local businesses."

Dan the Pizza Man can be found on Facebook here.

Suffolk Coffee Pod

Anthony Knights joined the industry before the pandemic started.

In 2017, after deciding he'd had enough with commuting to London everyday, the former graphics designer opted for a complete change in career.

He said: "I was looking for work back in Suffolk. I was trying to find something I could do all year round and took the plunge.

The Suffolk Coffee Pod in Woodbridge. Picture: Suffolk Coffee Pod
The Suffolk Coffee Pod in Woodbridge. Picture: Suffolk Coffee Pod

"I bought the trailer and started everything up from there."

Anthony, of Ipswich, celebrated the five year anniversary of the Suffolk Coffee Pod last month. Using locally sourced produce, his stall has become a popular fixture at markets across the county.

As someone involved in the street food scene since 2017, he has been contacted by similar curious entrepreneurs looking to make their step into the industry.

Echoing the thoughts of Dan the Pizza Man, Anthony believes people have become eager to support local businesses.

"Especially over the last two years, people have really realised how important local and small independent businesses are," he added.

"It is important that people support independent business."

Anthony and the Suffolk Coffee Pod can be found at Hadleigh Market on a Friday, or at their fixed pitch at Woodbridge Tidemill.