Food truck tales: Double Dutch Fries, lockdown and beyond
Timothy van der Werff loves chips. So much so that he’s made his single-minded dedication to the perfect fried potato into his business.
Van der Werff’s Double Dutch Fries food truck operation is the result of five years’ hard work, starting with experimenting at home in his spare time after work, to now, with two custom-kitted trucks roaming Auckland giving chip-loving Kiwis a taste of genuine Dutch fries.
It was missing the fries of his native Holland that gave van der Werff the inspiration for his business.
“I missed the Dutch fries; people really specialising in chips, so I decided to try it”, he says.
New Zealanders, it turns out, also love Dutch fries, and the business was soon booked for a steady stream of markets, events and private functions.
That all stopped with the Covid-19 lockdown, which, as with most hospitality businesses, saw Double Dutch stopped in its tracks for two months, with zero revenue and uncertainty about the future.
“It was horrible. We had a whole calendar booked with some of our biggest events, and within two days, everything got wiped out.”
When I visited van der Werff and one of his trucks at one of his post-lockdown sites, the home of Grownup Donuts in West Auckland, things were looking up.
“Coming out of it, it was cool to see people help and support us”.
That included strangers offering their driveways and other sites where a truck might be able to set up. At the Grownup site, people arrive in a steady trickle to get their fry fix, made to order.
The perfect Double Dutch fry is usually made from Agria potatoes, van der Werff says, which make “golden, brown and crispy” fries that are “just beautiful”.
Great relationships with his suppliers, he says, makes picking the right spuds every season easier. And van der Werff is optimistic for the future.
“We’re so lucky to be here in New Zealand where things are going back to normal. It’s nice to see there’s a positive outcome”.
For more about Double Dutch Fries and to find out where to catch the food trucks, visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/doubledutchfries/