By Betsy Everett
Joanne Jones and her distinctive burger van are a familiar sight in the Dales market town of Hawes on Friday and Saturday nights as she serves hot food and drinks to hungry revellers when other outlets are closed.
Now, with the blessing of the local parish council, Jo has transferred her cooking and business skills to her home village of Askrigg.
Every Sunday afternoon, from 2-4pm, Jo parks her van, On the Hoof, on the cobbles outside St Oswald’s Church and opens for trade, selling bacon sandwiches, home-made soup and rolls, tea and coffee.
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“We have some wonderful shops and cafes in Askrigg and I wouldn’t want to do anything to detract from their trade. But on a Sunday afternoon there is nowhere for people to eat so I saw a gap in the market. If people can’t eat here they will go somewhere they can, and I didn’t want that to happen,” says Jo.
Askrigg and Low Abbotside parish council approved her plan, applauded her entrepreneurial spirit, and gave their blessing.
Now, says Jo, she is not just serving food but offering advice.
“I’ve become a bit of a tourist office. People ask me about walks and buses and places to visit and I’m getting a few leaflets together to give out. It’s good for business and I’m sure it’s good for the village which is a very welcoming place,” she says.