INTRODUCING VINTEAGE - Are they your cup of vinTEAge for Event Service/Supplier Award?
Vinteage are a Pop Up Tearoom, offering venue styling, china and prop hire and of course classic Afternoon Tea catering. Cream Scones, Cakes and plenty of Tea! We find out more about Vinteage's journey from tea van conversion traumas, to the lady behind the teapot; carer by night Mary Haresign...
What is your most popular product/service?
Our All Inclusive Vinteage Experience, especially for weddings. Couples love the fact we do everything they need for their party and they have nothing to worry about. Our Hostesses keep everyone fed and watered and amused.
What inspired you to launch this as your business?
A very impulse buy of a 1972 Ford Transit Landliner Camper at my local Vintage Rally. I was attracted to her purely because of her colour. Our famous Vinteage turquoise and my favour ever colour. I had recently been paid some compensation money from an accident and was looking for something to invest in. On seeing the camper for sale, I wanted it. Overnight, the more I thought about it, I realised I could do more with her. Then I got the idea to transform it into a Tea Van serving proper tea in china teacups and lovely homemade cakes all on finest china. Vinteage is a family affair and after discussing this with everyone, we all thought it was a great idea. We all love vintage and enjoy going to these shows anyway. We could do all the vintage shows, classic car and county fairs. Offer the public an alternative to weak overpriced tea in polystyrene cups with a sense of fun and atmosphere. The main idea was to attend outdoor shows.
Anyway, long story short, when we started converting the camper, Fanny we call her, I had a total heartbreak to discover, under the nicely decorated interior, everything was rotten and rusty and the body was not even attached to the chassis!! She had to be rebuilt and totally refurbished from scratch. And she is still in the body shop being made beautiful. But in the meantime, we had received an enquiry from Cancer Research to attend a couple of their big Race for Lifes and serve cream teas. I did not want to turn them down so I got everything we needed and we had a marquee Tea Party. Despite not having Fanny on the road yet, we have grown and been busy with weddings, parties and outdoor events in our marquee.
What drew you to "vintage"?
I am not sure. I know I have always liked old stuff, classic cars, clothing and the music. As my whole family like it, I assume it came from my parents as our dad bought us all old minis as first cars. I can remember attending village fayres and fetes and even going to vintage auctions with my dad. I love Big Band orchestras, jazz, rockabilly and all other music. I think the whole era has a sense of pride, fun and carefreeness, despite what everyone was going through with the war. A tea dance was the perfect escape from your troubles and everyone had a great time! This is what I try to deliver with Vinteage.
If you could supply any individual, business or event with your product/services who or which would it be?
I would love to host a party for Paloma Faith. I think she is beautiful and stylish and individual with a gorgeous voice. But more realistically, I would like to take Vinteage to the Goodwood Revival.
How would you like to see your business grow & the Vintage Industry develop over the coming year(s)?
I want to get Fanny done and on the road and booked in to as many shows, festivals and fairs as I can. I work as a carer full time at night as well as running Vinteage. I would love to be able to run Vinteage full time and travel the country with it being busy every weekend. We are now in our 4th year and slowly getting noticed. Vintage is fashionable at the minute and there are many companies popping up doing what we do. I am not in it for a trend, I love my little company but due to circumstances, have not been able to maximise its potential. I am working on it. Catering is a very difficult sector to be in as there are so many companies. I keep trying to tell shows we are not just another "Tea Tent" but an attraction and getting into events is tricky. My dream is to have a whole fleet of Fannys.
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For more information:
FB page: Vinteage