The catering business run by Liv and Molly, two sisters in South East London, was finally taking off after four years of hard work. But then the Covid pandemic hit.
“We had been super busy catering for weddings, events of all kinds … photo shoots, PR events …” says Liv. “Then Covid just took it all away … almost overnight. Last summer life was very precarious.”
So what did they do? They decided to FLOAT their business.
No, not on the stock market but on a 40 year old, zero emissions electric milk float from Horsham in West Sussex.
“We tried to keep ourselves afloat by delivering homemade ready meals, baked goods and veg – like lots of other people in the catering sector.
“We had all the contacts, and some brilliant suppliers. But we needed something else to survive.”
As we carried out our deliveries it became clear there was a growing demand for locally sourced, high quality produce … “without all the plastic packaging.”
It was at this point the idea for the Float was born. “But it took a lot of work and several months to get our mobile shop up and running,” says Liv.
They found the Float online – a beautifully restored former milk float that had been used most recently by a hospital.
“Kids love it … and adults go all nostalgic. They remember the doorstep milk deliveries of their youth.”
Liv and Molly started in Southwark but demand soon took them to Brockley, Ladywell, Catford, Nunhead, Peckham, Camberwell, Kennington and Dulwich.
“We can take the Float to places within 40 minutes of our base. It is very slow and hard work driving it.”
So far the two sisters have run the Float and the catering business on their own.
But they are now taking on someone to help as business picks up and the demand for the Float grows.
Liv and Molly say the Float has been great fun … “we now serve some wonderful local communities.
“We stop the Float in streets and local people come to meet us .. and get to meet their neighbours.
“We source our products from local small businesses … so if you buy from us you are trading with the local community.
“And our customers use jars, pots, and tins … to restock essential products so that we can all help reduce the use of plastic packaging.”
Products include dried goods such as cereals, pasta, rice, lentils, nuts and seeds.
But they also have olive oil, herbs and spices, honey, tea bags, and freshly baked bread and croissants. They also now offer shampoo, washing-up liquid and a host of cleaning products.
You can join a street booking, order baked goods, and check out the times the Float is in your area here. You will receive an email reminder 24 hours before the booking and a text when the Float has arrived in your area.All the products available can be see here.