The humble beginings
Welcome to my story, my name is Adam Costantin and I am 31 and live in Helston, Cornwall. I have decided to document my idea of creating my own business, with absolutely no business experience whatsoever. Firstly I would like to apologise in advance for potential poor grammer and spelling. I lay no claim of being a literary genius. As you can see from the screen grab below, It took me 3 times to spell L-I-T-E-R-A-R-Y genius.
My original plan for starting the business was to begin slow, and build alongside my full time job. Slowly, slowly catchy ice cream was my mantra. With the financial and emotional support from my partner we took the plunge to make what seemed wild idea become reality. Cecil On Ice the van was bought on September 2014 and the dream became reality. As the van was based in Norwich we hadn’t actually been able to go take a look. First lesson learnt, always go and take a look at potential life time investments before paying. This is not really a tip, as reading this back to myself its just common sense!
A Vintage Bedford CF Ice Cream Van is of no standard size, its a humongous beast with a height of over 8ft. So the first challenge faced was to find a mechanic willing to take on the project. After numerous calls and negative responses a friend of a friend knew a guy who might be able to help. Jack was a agricultural engineer who liked to take on interesting jobs in his spare time. Luckily for us converting a ice cream van into a cocktail bar is a interesting idea. Mechanic in place, now we had to move the thing from Norwhich to Liskeard, Cornwall. Challenge number 2 was finding someone willing to transport the vehicle, a few phone calls later and I had 2-3 quotes at the £600-800 mark. Not sure what I was thinking but in my mind I had a figure of around £300?So the quest was on for a cheaper deal. So here is my first tip, If you need something massive moved and you want a good price use the website uship. You simply add pick up and drop off location, description of item and weight, and when you need it done by. Click get a quote and watch quotes come in from various delivery people. I eventually was quoted £345 by a lovely welsh couple who cruise around the UK doing such drops. The van was collected and delivered on a flatbed from Norwich to its new temporary home in in Downderry near Looe, Cornwall.
With the van safely transported, it was time for my most beloved of things to book a MOT. I have only had one car in all of my 12, that I have ever kept after a MOT. The rest were always riddled with problems and were sent to their final laying place of the local scrap yard. I am not a particularly religious person but on MOT day I think its the closest experience I have to being one. I sit and bargain with whoever exists above, ‘please god let there be minimal rust to the rear wheel arches’. Unfortunatly it appears that god does not favour interest one time a year, for the sole purposes of getting ones car through an MOT. The van failed in a rather spectacular fashion, with a list as long as the vehicle itself.
The next blog article will explain how we went about getting this van back to glory.