Picking up where we left off , you’ll remember that Dolly was almost an ex rugby bus! I’d already fallen in love with our quirky colourful bus though so without sounding cocky – I knew we’d get the old red & yellow National bus ! 🙂
Dolly Bus came together in a blur of excited activity – stripping out, decking out, jazzing her up with colourful artwork on the panels and in amongst all that – getting mechanically sound. It all came together so quickly (considering it was a case of 2 steps forward and 1 step back most of the time – we’d deck out another bus in half the time with the benefit of hindsight).
Dolly’s first real gig was at the Bell Street Fiesta 14th of October 2014. WOW …what an awesome day 🙂 we had a fantastic time – so much amazing feed back and a real indicator that we were on the right track – there were lots of people happy to see our hippy vegan bus on the road that day. Dolly became a regular from that moment at markets all around the Bellarine – Queenscliff, Ocean Grove, Cowrie Market (Torquay) & Portarlington.
We had our first really big date at Queenscliff Music Festival where we learned something very important – Do NOT attempt a major event without a COOLROOM!!! far out – our saving grace was that we live just up the road from the park where QMF is held. We had family and friends scurrying around back and forth from home cooking and prepping food til all hours at night…lol it was fun though and we emerged from that 3 days weary but much wiser and very much exhilarated by the fabulous reception of our vegan dishes.
Dolly bus spent much of summer parked in the car park (just before the bridge) at Barwon Heads (Ocean Grove side of the bridge) and many of you may remember seeing us there (we’re pretty hard to miss!) Over the summer months we applied for and were accepted at many more major events – World Vegan Day ~ Arty Farty Festival (Banyule) ~ Vegecarian Festival (Bendigo) ~ Conscious Living Festival ~ We Love Life Festival ~ Great Australian Beer Festival plus many more – we realised pretty quickly that we physically couldn’t cook & prepare enough food from our kitchen to service all the commitments Dolly Bus had.
The way we saw it the solution was one of two things:
- Hire a commercial kitchen or
- Open a cafe 🙂 🙂 .
Well , we put it out there – we told our customers that we’d probably have to think about hiring a commercial kitchen and even without us suggesting the other option , people kept saying OPEN A CAFE! We even had people offering to support us financially if we agreed to open a cafe in their town/suburb!
After about 5 mins of deep thinking and careful consideration , we decided that we would open a cafe – you’ll know what it was like for us from then if you’ve ever felt that feeling of being pulled towards a destination, it’s almost like being in a river where the current sweeps you along in an exciting moment to moment journey and then suddenly after what feels like no time at all you step back , take a breath and look around you at what was created in the rapids… we still look around us in awe and often just feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the opportunity to have created this amazing little mobile vegan food van which was really the beginning of it all .
And now here we are loving the community that is coming together at Dolly’s Sister Vegan Cafe & Bar. Dolly’s Sister is a warm, welcoming home to all – we believe that good food should also be compassionate , sustainable , cooked with love and nourishing to all who partake. Thank you Dolly’s Sister community for being a huge part of our story.