One sunny morning in July the telephone rang and we had a request from an Event Organiser in Oxford who had been tasked with arranging a funeral wake. The client had requested a coffee van who could attend the wake and provide hot drinks for the guests. We were then asked if we knew anyone who could supply ice creams? Well of course we can! We have over 150 flavours of locally hand-made ice creams and sorbets available and we were able to supply this on the day too.
Our initial reaction on receiving the call was one of joy as our excellent reputation and reliability as well as quality products had reached the distance of Oxford. Secondly delighted to be asked to provide refreshments for a funeral wake and be part of the celebrations.
You may think that calling this a celebration is a little weird and a little dark. Possibly being pleased to be asked to be part of the event is not a normal reaction as a funeral can be quite sad and sombre affairs. But the owner of Toot Sweets, Sarah, had previously worked for 6 years in a Victorian Cemetery and during that time had been part of many funeral wakes, burials and scatterings. So every possible reaction to the end of a life had been experienced.
A funeral doesn’t always mean those attending wear black or have to be sad. If the person had had a full and happy life, then the funeral that followed whilst still sad, can also be touched with a more jovial feel with those attending remembering and celebrating the life of the deceased and the good times that were shared.
So with that viewpoint in mind we were delighted to be asked to supply teas, coffees and ice creams.
On Saturday 9th September Mr Toots towed the vintage van from Bristol to Oxford for this rather special funeral wake.
This was no ordinary funeral by any means. The deceased had passed in the Spring and the close family had attended the service. However, with so many friends and family they wanted to invite everyone to celebrate his life and this was arranged for the September.
There was a field for all the cars to be parked, a large marquee set up with tables and chairs and bottles of wine and cold beers chilling in the fridges ready to be served.
We arrived with plenty of time to spare. Toot Sweets like to arrive early and we allow time for traffic jams, allow time to be set up and ready to start serving. Once we were in position and the coffee machine hot enough to serve we tested the machine to ensure our grind was good and the coffee tasty!
Toot Sweets take great pride in having quality Arabica beans that are fairtrade. We spend time ensuring our grind isn’t too fine or too grainy and suits the weather conditions and local water. Once we’ve perfected the taste of the coffee it’s ready to start serving our customers.
We were not the only food truck to be booked for the event. Shortly after a hog roast and a mobile pizza van arrived and set up ready to serve.
At noon everyone started to arrive. This was indeed a celebration of a much loved family member, a friend, a neighbour and a work colleague and the air was filled of stories of fun and laughter and memories of a past that they all shared.
We started serving barista coffees and we had some fabulous feedback from everyone on the quality and taste of our coffee and our 100% compostable coffee cups and lids. Quite a few people exclaimed that our coffee was the best they had tasted and were keen to book us for other family celebrations in the future.
Our ice creams also went down well. We had over 10 different flavours for them to choose from but the Blackberry & Apple Crumble, the Somerset Cider Brandy, Chocolate Chuckle and Eton Mess were the firm favourites – all served in luxury waffle cones or 100% compostable tubs. The children (of all ages) enjoyed the ice cream sundae table where everyone could create their own ice cream sundaes from our choice of sauces and toppings (fudge chunks, mini smarties, sprinkles and jelly babies)
The Toot Sweets Van pride ourselves on our service, the locally sourced and high quality products on board, the great taste and beautiful set up. We pay attention to detail and listen to our clients to provide a high quality service.
If you are looking for a funeral service and would like us to attend to serve your family and friends teas, coffees or ice creams and cakes get in contact. Of course we can also provide a fully stocked mobile bar or a gin and fizz bar.
For something a little different and to celebrate the life of your loved one please do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0796 770 9018 and we can provide you with a quote.