So the truck is purchased, the name is set and Gretel is outfitted with everything needed to be an official flower truck. Everything is seemingly coming together perfectly for our grand opening. Then AAA gets involved and everything went to hell.
It’s officially August, the hottest month in Oklahoma and we have only 12 days until our Grand Opening. I’m feeling confident in my design abilities, Gretel finally looks like a real flower truck and I can literally see my dream becoming reality. We made the decision to host a soft opening for friends and family a week prior to work out any unforeseen kinks, and luckily enough it was with our top choice – Laurannae Baking Co. in downtown Broken Arrow. We shared the event on Facebook, called and texted our closest friends and family, stocked the truck to the best of our abilities and headed downtown.
With a truck overstocked full of blooms, we pulled up to the bakery only to discover a crowd of people already waiting for us. Four hours later, we completely sold out. Drenched in sweat, my face covered in happy tears, feet and back aching, I pulled away from the bakery knowing this was the best decision I could have ever made for myself. Gretel was a hit! Everyone loved the idea, and loved picking their own blooms off the truck. There was so much love and support, we attracted the attention from others just visiting the Rose District that evening. I felt so proud of her and felt confident that we would be a success on our official opening day.
Then, it happened.
Driving down the highway a few days later after a delivery I feel a difference in the way she handles the road. The truck starts to drag almost, and even as a passenger you could feel the loss of power. We pulled over on the side of the highway with white smoke bellowing out the back. UH OH. (If you’re unfamiliar with classic Volkswagens, the motors are in the back, so we knew immediately this was bad.) It was over 100° that day, so it was no surprise that an air-cooled engine had overheated, but how bad was it? With the loss of power, stranded on the side of the road, we needed help. I called AAA and 2 hours later, Gretel was back in the shop and we’re quickly trying to come up with plan B. We had only 2 days to figure out a solution in order to make our grand opening.
Well, we actually ended up going with Plan C that day. After hours of working on the truck, day and night – literally getting zero sleep, the motor was blown and had to be replaced. But I’m not talking about the motor I just blew after making deliveries, I’m talking about a second motor that Tim and a friend spent the last 48 hours bringing back to life in order to make her mobile again. That’s right, I didn’t just blow one motor, I have now blown two and we’re only hours away from our first pop-up.
My best friend, Andrea (if you haven’t seen her at the truck yet, you will) arrives that morning at 6 am after we worked past midnight to help prep for the day. Because we don’t just have one pop-up, we have two. Our first stop was at Ida Red on Brookside and the second was with Beatrice Ice Cream Co. in downtown Tulsa. We have everything we need ready to go and prepped. Except one very important piece. Gretel.
I called and called and called with no answer. Where was Tim with the truck??
He finally calls just 20 minutes before we are supposed to arrive. He had been elbow deep in the motor doing his very best to get her mobile and because he has now gone 3 days with no sleep, has zero concept of time and had no clue we were minutes from officially opening.
This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you that miraculously everything came together in that very moment and we made it just in time. But this is real life with a vintage VW and it just doesn’t work like that sometimes. Ha! Instead, we had to call it. She was towed to the first stop an hour later. But I can honestly say – that was the worst of it. We conducted business as usual and had an incredibly successful day. We sold out in our first stop and had to pull stock from the second load. We towed her downtown and did equally as well that evening.
Now we’re three months in. On our third motor with a fourth being built by the best VW mechanic in town, and still towing her around. I pray all the time and money spent on getting her up and running will pay off and we have seen the end of these days. But for now, if you see us pull up and we’re pushing her to a parking spot – just know, she’s been through a lot and we’re loving her through it anyway. Despite her flaws, we know you’ll still love her too.