Go Dutch – Although you won’t want to share!
Go Dutch has been a member of the Harbour Arm food offering since 2014. Alison and her team started out in a gazebo and have worked from their kiosk since 2015. Going from strength to strength, the Harbour Arm wouldn’t feel right without some Dutch pancakes and moules frites. Folkelife met with Alison to find out what it takes to be a Harbour Arm trader.
“A gazebo on the Harbour Arm isn’t a great idea. The wind does get up around there. To start off with, selling poffertjes – the small round Dutch pancakes dusted with icing sugar and served with various toppings such as chocolate hazelnut sauce – was quite hard work. People didn’t know what they were and we gave away a lot of free samples. Now we’re at the point where we can’t make enough. We have so many repeat customers and it means that our hut has now grown into a fairly large shed. That’s so much better than a gazebo!”
hot chocolate and baileys
“We work all year round at the Arm and started selling hot chocolate with Baileys in 2020. That was flying out of the hut too! It might have been a tough year for us all but we’ve certainly enjoyed the support of all our customers in helping us through. We haven’t sold alcohol before this past year as we’re a family business and my girls weren’t old enough to sell it. So you can say that our business is growing with us. Now that my daughters are of an age we can branch out and do some new things. The truth is though, that the poffertjes, hot chocolate and our other offering – moules frites – are so successful that I think simple is best. Why complicate something that works so well?”
“We also offer Moules Frites which are really delicious. It’s something you need to sit down to eat though so with the tables set out in the Good Shed area, or on the Arm, that’s when that really works. Having this space in the open air is really what I think people will be looking for as we come out of lockdown. It’s a safe place to enjoy going out and eating out, which people have really missed doing.”
The harbour arm
“It’s a really unique place to work. I’ve been in the hospitality industry for all my working life and the Harbour Arm really is different. It’s quite unusual to find such a group of people who truly care about each other. Yes, we’re independent traders, but we have a gossip, and we all get on well. Everyone has their little ways but it’s a place where you can always find help if you need it, and we all support each other too. It’s a really lovely place to be.”