Thought that might catch your eye.

Finalists in the prestigious Sussex Food and Drink Awards 2019, St. Leonard’s based The BBQ Project is an innovative BBQ specialist, catering for events, festivals, fairs and weddings. The BBQ Project was one of three finalists in the Sussex Street Food of the Year Category at the awards, up against two West Sussex businesses. The nominees were revealed following an intensive eight-month judging process, supported by a record 18,000 public votes.

The BBQ Project’s popularity is credit to an innovative, and of course, tasty BBQ-style menu, one that is not afraid to experiment and try out new combinations to suit different festivals and events. There’s not much that can beat tasty gourmet street-food at a festival. Am I right?

Hungry Customers queuing at Motors by the Moat Festival, Leeds

BBQ may not be the road to peace, but it’s a start.

Father and son team, Brian and Gavin Steedman are determined to create authentic flavour, serving up dishes that include the ‘10 Hour BBQ Pork Rib Bun’ and ‘Cajun Seasoned Hastings Cod Fish Finger Bun’ – together with ‘dirty loaded fries’ (slow-cooked to perfection, with a whole lot of mouth-watering cheese)

It’s hard to imagine a beaten and battered Citroen becoming the life-blood of a successful food business – let alone one that is feeding hungry festival-goers at events across the UK. This was made possible when co-directors, Gavin and Brian Steedman, purchased the seed to their success – a distinctive Citroen H van, which led to the business opening its doors to customers in 2017.

Image Credits: Toby Phillips

It wasn’t an easy journey – the business is the product of the pair’s sheer hard-work and determination. Following a lengthy, top-to-bottom renovation, Brian and Gavin had created their dream food truck, named after late grandmother, Joan. Serving up fresh, locally sourced ingredients, the duo leave no stone unturned in serving some of the tastiest street-food on the market.

Gavin commented:

“The fact we’ve been able to get this far is credit to my amazing team of family and friends, and anyone that’s helped us on the way to make our dream possible.”

“It’s great not to be stuck in a box, in a kitchen away from the customers you’re creating the food for – now I have my own catering business, I get to meet them face to face and find out what they think of new inventions, as I’m often changing and adapting the menu for every event me and Joan attend!”

Previous festivals that have featured The BBQ Project include Alfresco Festival, Edenbridge Uncorked, Jack in the Green and Fat Tuesday – to name a few. You might have spotted Joan at the recent Hastings’ Beer and Music Festival. If you missed out – don’t worry! You’ll find Joan pulled up at  Brighton Pride BN1 Festival, Firle Vintage Fair and many more.

Why have one food truck when you can have two?

Precisely. There’s nothing like growing a business with a clear expansion strategy – and The BBQ Project co-owners are full of genius ideas to continue to innovate and scale-up their business.

The pair got in touch with the East Sussex Growth Hub for funding to help them to purchase a second food truck, to secure a permanent spot and help the business to meet growing demand.

Joan 2 has already been named Marcel and is currently being renovated before he opens his doors to the hungry pub-goers and locals in the charmingly quirky Hastings Old Town.

The BBQ Project was awarded funding via the South East Business Boost scheme to help fund the extension. The grant not only helped to purchase the truck but also to fit it out and support its transformation. Marcel will enable The BBQ Project to grow their business, with a plan in place to take on two new staff members and see a significant increase in turnover. We caught up with Gavin on his experience working with Business East Sussex:

“It’s important for small businesses like ours to access any help they can get. Marcel may not have been a reality if it wasn’t for the support we’ve received – a real push forward in terms of business growth and has allowed me to put my plans into action. We can’t wait to see Marcel on the road in the very near future.”

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