Xochi Balfour
In the summer of 2011, Xochi Balfour and her boyfriend Ben Sheinwald quit their office jobs to set up a food van. Travelling around London and the UK, they sell homemade Japanese gyoza dumplings and crunchy, colourful salad from a converted 1948 Ford pickup truck, money from which goes to their Food for Freedom initiative, rescuing child labourers in Nepal.

During the week, they trade at KERB, Street Feast and other one-off markets and events. Full details and blogs can be found on their website.

Entries by Xochi Balfour

One Year on: What Have We Learned?

(0) Comments | Posted 7 October 2013 | (17:54)

Time has flown by since we first ignited our old engine and hit the streets to make our living. We have learned so much, seen so much, eaten so much and grown immeasurably as individuals, partners and a business. And to coincide with our first birthday (if a little late),...

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The London Farmer's Market: v. 2.0

(6) Comments | Posted 23 May 2013 | (12:07)

Something wonderfully and brilliantly provincial is happening in force right now in London: the Saturday market is back. Morrisons and Sainsbury's may be just around the corner, but communities across the capital are ditching their local all-singing, all-hours, all-in-season-whatever-the-weather supermarkets to buy their food and ingredients directly from the producer,...

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Rainbo Against Child Labour: Food for Freedom

(0) Comments | Posted 11 March 2013 | (19:30)

What an edifying start to 2013 we have had. Since I last wrote, we have spent six action-packed weeks travelling, visiting our partner NGO Base in the west of Nepal and then heading down to India for sun, sand and sea while the street food world recuperated from a gruelling...

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Ho-Ho-Homeward Bound

(0) Comments | Posted 19 December 2012 | (20:40)

Oh my goodness it is Christmas already. Where the summer and autumn went I have only a vague idea; it feels at once an eternity and a moment since we first nervously opened the hatch of our big old van on Leather Lane back in June.

The last few weeks...

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Street Food, Street Food Everywhere and Not a Pitch in Sight: Boris, We Need You!

(1) Comments | Posted 9 November 2012 | (23:00)

It is no secret that street food in London is thriving. Every month new traders hit the scene with mind boggling new concepts and taste combinations crazy enough to make Heston think twice. And almost every time we trade someone else comes up to the van asking how we got...

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Autumn Begins: Goodwood Revival, KERB Street Food Collective and a Compulsive Addiction to Knitting

(0) Comments | Posted 16 October 2012 | (10:58)

With our first summer season done and dusted, we have finally come up for air and got ourselves back on track since launching the van in the spring. We have slept, eaten and tidied like never before and now we are ripe and ready for autumn in the city and...

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Why Britain Needs a More American Attitude to Entrepreneurship

(10) Comments | Posted 3 September 2012 | (00:00)

In an article published last month entitled 'What is working? A bipartisan search for solutions to the jobs crisis', as part of HuffPost's recent  'Opportunity: what is working' campaign, Arianna Huffington described the current state of unemployment in the US as 'the American Dream deferred'.

For while hope,...

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Not All Those Who Wander are Lost...

(0) Comments | Posted 30 July 2012 | (17:53)

Not all those who wander are lost...

So says Tolkein, anyway. And wandering and roaming is exactly what we want to do in our rainbo van. To that end, we decided last week to spread our wings and leave Leather Lane behind in search of new horizons and mouths to...

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New Places, New Faces

(1) Comments | Posted 16 July 2012 | (00:00)

Doing a food van, you are constantly meeting new people. That is one of the joys of the job. The food, the market, the tedious British weather and the daily toils may stay more or less the same, but the customers and passers by are always different, and always inspiring...

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The Learning Curve

(2) Comments | Posted 3 July 2012 | (17:10)

I know I have been quiet since we got going in the van. In what could be considered a cavalier move, we booked ourselves in for two festivals back to back, three weeks into trading, and the last couple of weeks have been a hazy blur of heavy rain, ubiquitous...

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Hitting the Streets of London

(0) Comments | Posted 8 June 2012 | (20:38)

This week, my boyfriend Ben and I launched our new street food business, rainbo, at London's Leather Lane market. Having quit our office jobs to run Petra Barran's chocolate van at markets and festivals last summer, we craved crunchy salads and light, healthy food on the move, so we decided...

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