First there was the Big Wave Cafe, now there's the big pancake stack.
New Plymouth pancake manufacturer Van Dyck Fine Foods are rolling out their latest creation, but this one isn't edible.
It's a custom-made trailer shaped like a stack of pancakes drizzled in maple syrup.
Van Dyck Fine Foods sales co-ordinator Ben Clare said the inspiration came from the Big Wave Cafe which was designed and built by cafe owner and engineer Michael Welsh.
The stack features a freezer, fridge, stainless steel serving counters, two sinks, and fresh and wastewater tanks.
Van Dyck Fine Foods commissioned the trailer with the plans of offering taste testings in supermarket car parks.
"We wanted to come up with a concept that was outside the square and I think we've certainly achieved that," Mr Clare said. It was hoped the unusual marketing tool would boost sales, he said.
Van Dycks plan to make the trailer available to Taranaki community groups to use for fundraising and charity activities.
The trailer made its debut yesterday at the Belt Rd Holiday Park's Mother's Day fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Cure Trust.
Van Dycks also hope to tour the trailer around the North Island and are currently looking for parties interested in operating the trailer in other areas.
Big Wave engineer Michael Welsh said one-off builds like this were particularly tricky.
"You never know what it will look like until you've built it," Mr Welsh said.
After fabricating the frame and stainless steel base of the trailer he handed it over to Fibreworks and Sirocco Surf man Biggie Smithers to shape the pancake shell.
It then went back to Mr Welsh to be painted and fitted out.
"When you take on a job like that you've got to be really confident that it'll work out because if it doesn't it's not good for your reputation," Mr Welsh said.
All up the project took about three months to complete, he said.
"You've got to get it right first time otherwise it's just a nightmare."
Transportable sales carts were becoming increasingly popular around New Zealand and having a point of difference was crucial in making them work, he said.
"I think in this day and age you've got to be different to stand out."
Mr Welsh was already looking into other concept designs for future clients, he said.
"I've got a few in the pipeline who are keen on some concepts."
Based in Corbett Rd in Bell Block, Van Dyck Fine Foods produces the Marcel's range of pancakes which includes hotcakes, mini hot cakes, crepes and blinis.
Earlier this year they extended the factory to include a new pancake production system which pumps out about 12,000 pancakes an hour.
In one day it can fill an entire shipping container with hot cakes.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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