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Beach boom as Aberdam chips, pizza, cake and Asian street food vans given go-ahead at seafront

The new food trucks will contribute to a popular scene at Aberdeen Beach.

There's a flourishing scene at the beach.
There's a flourishing scene at the beach. Image: Kath Flannery/Michael McCosh

Several new street food trucks will soon be adding to the buzz at Aberdeen Beach.

The council today paved the way for six new traders to occupy spots along the Esplanade, adding to an already-popular scene there.

It came after the people of Aberdeen made their thoughts clear – saying they’re all for an increased number of options by the shore.

Aberdeen beach boulevard
The stretch between the Burger King roundabout and Fittie is about to get much busier. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

So who are the new arrivals soon to be tantalising the tastebuds of visitors to the seafront?

Aberdam to sell famous Dutch Fries from new coastal berth

Aberdam unleashed its smash burgers and moreish fries on the city about two years ago.

The independent business has proven a huge hit in the trendy Shiprow Village – itself a burgeoning street food scene.

Aberdam burgers and dirty fries
Aberdam prides itself on serving up decadent dirty burgers and loaded fries.

Bosses soon cashed in on the success with a food truck, known as the “scran van”, which has been touring Aberdeenshire in recent months.

Aberdam has now been given permission to operate its mobile unit from a spot along the Esplanade.

Taking to Instagram afterwards, the firm said they would “mark the end of summer with some more regular appearances there”.

The Aberdam “scran van” was in demand at the recent Taste of Grampian event. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

The post said: “Aberdeen beach is an absolute asset to the city and the street food scene on the south side of links road is something to be cherished.

“We’ll be massively proud to be a small part of it from time to time.”

The firm joked that the seafront’s infamous “scurries” will be “buzzing” about the news.

Sweet Toots Cakery coming to Aberdeen beach

Danielle Smith launched her Sweet Toots Cakery in Newburgh eight years ago, selling a range of sumptuous snacks.

In 2020, she left her job in oil and gas to pursue her passion as a full-time career.

Danielle Smith with some sweet treats
Danielle Smith with some of her popular fancy pieces. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Addressing today’s licensing committee meeting, she said she sells “homemade cupcakes, brownies, blondies, cookie pies, stuffed cookies… All the good stuff.”

Danielle converted a horsebox to sell her wares, painted it bright pink, and has been taking it around various north-east events for the past few years.

Danielle holding cupcakes in front of her Sweet Toots Cakery horsebox
Danielle and her horsebox at the Taste of Grampian food festival. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Speaking after securing permission to sell her sweet treats from the beach, the self-taught sensation praised the “local foodies” who rallied behind the traders.

Danielle reckons the beach is the best place in Aberdeen for street food, saying it’s “a good community to be part of”.

Pavilion Cafe to park new pizza van at Aberdeen Beach

It appears to have been a case of “if you can’t beat them, join them” for Pavilion Cafe owner Paul Dawson.

Paul Dawson at Aberdeen beach
Paul Dawson has been trading on the beach for almost two decades. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Mr Dawson previously told us that the number of food trucks at the beach was getting “out of control” and warned of their impact on bricks and mortar cafes.

But today he had his application to sell pizza from a modified Mercedes Benz Sprinter van near Fittie approved.

Mr Dawson’s agent addressed the meeting, explaining that the businessman had initially tried operating the van at Hareness Road last year.

Paul Dawson outside the Pavilion cafe
Pavilion Cafe owner Paul Dawson at his seaside eatery. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

But he found the “level of trade was not as expected”.

It was at that point that he decided it wasn’t “viable” to sell pizzas from there, and began “looking to a new location”.

It will now act as an “ancillary offering” alongside the cafe.

Cook bringing taste of homeland to seaside

Pavel Plasek tells us that chimmy cakes are “found on every single corner in Prague”.

And now the cook will bring them to Aberdeen Beach, with permission to sell the Eastern European staple from a food truck.

They’re a cylindrical confection, baked around a pole, and typically garnished with sugar and cinnamon.

Pavel, from the nearby Czech Republic, explained that the delicacy is something that is “running through his veins”.

He added: “I want to share a bit of my culture, and they will be something niche and new for people to try.

“I’ve been trialing them at markets, but all the travelling around is not ideal.”

The cakes are named as they look like chimneys. Seen here in the Czech Republic. Image: BabichAndrew. Shutterstock

Pavel can’t wait to get started, telling us he may start selling the freshly baked pastries there as soon as this weekend.

Career change as crepe van is approved

Sarah Wyatt is basing a big life change around the crepe van she’s now been permitted to operate along the Esplanade.

A crepe from one of the new Aberdeen beach food trucks
Sarah will sell sweet and savoury crepes from her van by the beach. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Sarah will be giving up her job to run the Native Crepe Hut venture as her full-time career.

‘Sometimes I just wanted a crepe’

She told us how she moved to Aberdeen last year to work as a swimming instructor, and began learning how to surf just yards away from the beach’s foodie haven.

“I became a part of the different communities at Fittie,” Sarah explained.

“There were some food trucks there of course, but sometimes I just wanted a crepe… And I figured, if I want it then other people will too.”

She plans to open up “as soon as she can” – after painting her van. That could even be this weekend.

People running into the sea at sunrise
Some swimmers take to the seaside at sunrise. Image: Kirsty Johnstone

Mum and daughter to sell Korean cuisine at beach

Mum and daughter Susan and Martha Rennie have been given the all-clear to open up their Moshi Moshi food van at the seafront.

It will sell Asian street food favourites like Korean chicken and Japanese dumplings.

The pair have their logo ready, they were just waiting to open up. Image: Martha Rennie

They’ve already been touring Aberdeenshire in their van.

Susan told us the idea came about after they visited the beach and found nothing to their liking in the street food scene already there.

She added: “We have always had an interest in food as I’ve run a catering business before, and this felt like something really up and coming.”

Danielle, Sarah, Pavel and Susan all attended the meeting in person to state their cases.

The delighted group left the chamber beaming as they exchanged hugs and Instagram links, promising to keep in touch.

The quartet excitedly discussed their opening plans after the meeting. Pictured are Sarah Wyatt, Pavel Plasek, Danielle Smith and Susan Rennie at Aberdeen Town House. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Decision followed row over food trucks at Aberdeen Beach

Back in March, councillors hit the pause button on applications for more food trucks down at the Fittie end of the beach.

Hearing concerns about litter and overcrowding, they thought it best to gauge public feeling before paving the way for more to open up.

At the licensing meeting today, flabbergasted licensing chiefs revealed it attracted the “most responses they have ever received”…

What did the survey say?

The public were consulted on the matter over a month this spring.

People were asked the simple question: “Do you think there is an issue with the number of street traders at the beach front?”

In total, 4,336 answered.

The Fittie end of the beach is popular with surfers and swimmers. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

More than 3,800 of them (almost 89%) said they had no issue with the number of trucks at the beach.

In contrast, just 493 said “yes”, which was more than 11%.

one of the new Aberdeen beach food trucks
Chef Graham Mitchell with a chilli dog down at the seafront. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

Beyond that, 1,960 people said there should be “no restrictions” on trade at the seaside. That’s 45.2%.

But 862 said there should be a restriction on the number of pitches.

As long as they are confined to the Fittie end of the beach, 968 argued that there should be no restriction on numbers.

Finally, 74 people (1.71% of those who took part) said there should be no street trading at the beach.

At the same licensing meeting, plans for Union Street tours showcasing Aberdeen’s spooky past were also approved.