Charming bistro on four wheels: the Sprinter 312 D
Flexibility and low starting capital: the Mercedes-Benz truck makes the dream of owning a bistro come true.
“Customers won’t come to us? Then we will go to them!”
Peter and Marion Wüstkamp owe the business idea to an unfriendly mulled wine vendor on Sylt. It was cold and the wind was whistling around their ears. An unmotivated man stood in his snack truck and sold them overpriced mulled wine. “We thought: there has to be a nicer way”, remembers Peter Wüstkamp and grins. He and his wife had always dreamed of opening a bistro. But they thought the risks were too great. What happens if they choose the wrong location? The entire project seemed doomed to fail. But the unfriendly mulled wine vendor opened their eyes: “With a food truck the fixed costs are lower”, explains the former marketer, “and you can experiment with the location until you have found the right one.” They returned from the North Sea island and “Volpe Leckerei” was born.
Broad variety in a small space
Since 2015 the married couple has offered a changing midday menu in the Rhine-Main region with varied and creative dishes which take their names from family members. Especially popular: the carrot-coconut soup Kasimir with red lentils or their own “Volpeno” creation named “Kartoffel Karl” – A sandwich with yeast dough flatbread made of spelt flour, baked at 400° in the oven. “The high temperature oven was the first thing we installed after we bought the van”, says Wüstkamp and laughs. “The van was previously just a simple snack mobile and before that a fan article shop for the Stuttgart soccer club. So we had to upgrade it accordingly.” Now the Mercedes-Benz 312 D is equipped with a crêpe hotplate, professional refrigerators, a gastronomy coffee machine and a Thermomix. “This truly makes the van universally usable”, says the gastronomer enthusiastically. “Our range of foods can change completely over the course of the years.”
Three chefs wanted to discover the secrets of sausage. Now they sell their products in a bright pink food truck under the name Brandt & Levie Worstmakers.
> Read more about the Mercedes-Benz 508 D food truck
“Closed due to breakdown” is not an option
Where the Wüstkamp couple emphasize flexibility in terms of their location and menu, they are absolutely uncompromising when it comes to their vehicle. “Right from the beginning we knew that we needed a van from Mercedes-Benz”, explains Wüstkamp. “You simply know that these vehicles are built to last, are not overloaded with sensitive technology, making them perfect for commercial use. We cannot afford to be ‘closed due to breakdown’. We need a vehicle that we can rely on”. The flair of the Mercedes-Benz from the 1990s is also something special. Marion Wüstkamp has refined this and sewn a colorful pennant for the grey van with the orange logo. When the pennant is raised people know that there will not be a grumpy snack vendor behind the counter but rather the friendly team happy to have fulfilled their dream.
The Carrot Coconut Soup with lentils
is both healthy and hearty
Carrot Coconut Soup recipe for 6 portions
– 1 piece of ginger (1 cm), peeled and grated
– 1 white onion, diced
– 3 tbsp. olive oil
– 3 middle sized potatoes, mealy, peeled and diced
– 1 kg carrots, peeled and chopped
– 300 g red lentils
– 1 Boskop apple with skin, cored and quartered
– 500 ml coconut milk
– 1 tbsp. vegetable stock or vegetable paste
Brown the ginger and onions in olive oil. Add the remaining ingredients (potatoes, carrots, red lentils, apple) and sauté. Add the vegetable stock and enough water to thoroughly cover the vegetables. Cook until everything is soft. Allow to cool and add the pureed coconut milk. Heat up again but do not bring to the boil.
Tip: Season the soup with lemon juice, salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg
|Vehicle profile of the Sprinter 312 D|
|Model||Sprinter 312 D, 1998|
|Until 2013||Stuttgart soccer club fan article bus|
|2013-2015||Converted into a snack truck in Saarbrücken, sold sandwiches and soups|
|April 2015||Vehicle purchased by Volpe Leckerei, conversion and complete external redesign with the Volpe CI|
|Since August 2015||On the road in the Rhine-Main region|
Obertshausen | Germany
Photos: Volpe Leckerei