Rush hour - the perfect time for a clandestine drop off. I stood by the side of the road, waiting expectantly, and surreptitiously glancing at the traffic pouring down the road. I didn’t know what make or colour the car would be, and I had only met the driver on a couple of occasions previously. I felt conspicuous.
So, I was glad when the car pulled in, the window was wound down, and the plastic container was handed to me. Money had been exchanged in advance. The deal was done.
However, no narcotics were involved in my ‘exchange’ with ‘the Mule’. Twenty minutes prior to this, my food order had been received. But it wasn’t long before my phone rang:”I’m so sorry - I have just found your salsa on the side in my kitchen! I’m on my way back!” ‘It really doesn’t matter.’ I replied, but to no avail, the mule was determined to complete her delivery…
Care and passion are at the root of Cath Hindmarch’s business model. Care for the customer and for the preparation of the ‘fuel’ itself; passion for what The Harrogate Fuel Mule is all about, and furthermore for the way it is done.
Rewind to April of this year, where a conversation on Instagram led me to discover this unique Harrogate food and drink business. I was immediately struck by the quirky, eye-catching posts and cheeky captions (the language used is very distinctive). I was curious and soon placed my first order.
The knock on the door came at my chosen time; the delivery driver? The Fuel Mule herself! Cath had been involved in every aspect of my customer experience. It is rare to see such follow through in business these days, but Cath’s passion for her work shines brightly - as does her warmth and generosity of spirit. We continued the conversation that had started on Instagram, and the ‘fuel’ was handed over!
My order lay spread out invitingly across the kitchen worktop; the Fuel Mule’s freshly prepared food is all vegan or vegetarian and shows imaginative cooking without compromise. The concept is all about clean eating - no nasties or preservatives, just delicious and wholesome food and drink that is made and delivered without pretension.
The Miso Mushrooms were the highlight of my first order - moreish and creamy without being too rich, and served with sourdough bread… a real delight as a snack. Smoky beans, humous vegetable juice and a berry protein shake completed my selection. I savoured the variety of my order over the next couple of days.
The ‘dropped off’ salsa from my third order provided a zesty accompaniment to grilled halloumi. The Jackfruit chilli with brown basmati rice provided tasty, filling sustenance with a spicy bite.
So why hasn't a similar business had success in Harrogate before now? After all, we live in a world where veganism in particular is becoming increasingly fashionable.
The difference is the Fuel Mule herself, who has injected her quirky personality into the business and her soul into the food. The result is a food delivery service like no other; tasty, nutritious food, cooked to order and delivered at your convenience. You can also collect from Mule HQ.
As I stood at the edge of the road on that sunny day in June, perhaps the feeling of a ‘secret exchange’ was real? The Fuel Mule makes you feel special, to the extent that you almost want to keep it to yourself!