WHEN David Chapman offered to cater at an event with cuisine from the county’s twin town, little did he realise just how important the word ‘twin’ would have on his life.
Within a few weeks of the job, the 31-year-old from Alloa found out his wife Lucy (32) was expecting twins.
Then, when he bought a van to take his business, Allo Alloa, on the road, unbeknownst to him it came from just a stone’s throw of Vendargues (Clackmannanshire’s French twin town).
He said, “Maybe it was in the stars. It began when [social enterprise] Resonate held an international-themed exhibition and I provided the catering. Because of the theme I decided to do something from the Languedoc-Rousillon region. Two months after that we found out we were having twins – I hit the roof with excitement and Lucy almost passed out.
“So when I found out the van I was looking at came from an area close to Clackmannanshire’s twin town it seemed so natural.” Owning and running his own catering business has been a life-long dream for David.
He said, “I met Lucy six years ago and she asked me then if I could do anything in my heart of hearts what would I do. I had always wanted to have a catering company.” He started in August 2012, catering part-time for specialist events from his own home in Ashley Terrace, and went full-time in September last year – a month after his twin sons, Andrew and Malcolm, were born.
But he always had his eye set on taking his cuisine mobile. In the run-up to the birth, he scoured motor suppliers in England for a vehicle with that special something and came upon ‘Amelie’ – named by David after the couple’s favourite French film.
The 1976 Citroen HY was registered in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in the south of France – just 57 miles from the local authority’s twin town.
He said, “I had been looking at vans at the right price when I saw this one and just fell in love with it. I didn’t want a run-of-the-mill van, I wanted something with a bit of personality. Then when I saw from the registration documents that it was originally from a place that was as close as you could get to the twin town, I thought that was fantastic.” Asked if there are any more twin-related life events on the horizon, he joked, “I hope not.”