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Footballer and takeaway owner’s new street food stall goes from ‘strength to strength’

Rory McAuley and Kevin Hong (L-R) launched Wok Box in lockdown and it has gone from strength to strength Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Rory McAuley and Kevin Hong (L-R) launched Wok Box in lockdown and it has gone from strength to strength Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Archant

A footballer and a takeaway owner teamed up to launch a new Chinese street food business in lockdown and it has surpassed their goals with bookings for major events and hundreds of orders.

Rory McAuley, who also plays for King's Lynn Town FC, is one of the owners of Wok Box, pictured here at the drive-in cinema event at the Norfolk Showground earlier this summer Picture: James RandleRory McAuley, who also plays for King's Lynn Town FC, is one of the owners of Wok Box, pictured here at the drive-in cinema event at the Norfolk Showground earlier this summer Picture: James Randle

Friends Rory McAuley, 30, who plays for King’s Lynn Town FC, and Kevin Hong, 34, who owns Dragon Palace in Taverham, started Wok Box at the beginning of July and business is booming.

Since launching at the Eating Street Market at the Gibraltar Gardens pub in Norwich two months ago, they have been booked for the drive-in cinema screenings at the Norfolk Showground and, since last weekend, the Junkyard Market at St Mary’s Works in the city.

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, they served more than 800 meals at the Junkyard Market, which features local and national vendors and is running until the end of September, and Wok Box is returning this weekend.

Instead of being overwhelmed by the huge footfall at the event, which has capacity for 450 people on spaced out benches, they now have a system in place at Wok Box where one person takes care of each element.

Prawn Szechwan with Jasmine sticky rice Picture: Instagram/wokbox_street_foodPrawn Szechwan with Jasmine sticky rice Picture: Instagram/wokbox_street_food

READ MORE: Norwich street food market raises £10,000 to feed homeless

It is also a real family affair with help on the stall from Mr McAuley’s partner Tess, his nephew Blake, Mr Hong’s partner Megan and his sister Anna.

Customers choose their base of rice or noodles and while classics such as salt and pepper and sweet and sour chicken have been available since the start, a prawn or beef Szechwan and a vegan option was added for the first Junkyard Market and they are now looking to do a duck dish.

Mr McAuley said: “It has gone really well, we went from zero to 100 really quick and have come a long way from Gibraltar Gardens to the Junkyard Market.

Norwich's Junkyard Market at St Mary's Works Picture: Junior @DN.IMAGERYNorwich's Junkyard Market at St Mary's Works Picture: Junior @DN.IMAGERY

“I think people have been dying to get out the house so it has been a brilliant time for vendors.

READ MORE: Norwich bar doing ‘better than ever’ after lockdown - and is launching a bottomless brunch

“Kevin’s shop is known all around Taverham and customers are always raving about his food and that is the reason we have gone from strength to strength.”

Book a free table for this weekend at junkyardmarket.co.uk

Salt and pepper chicken with Jasmine sticky rice Picture: Instagram/wokbox_street_foodSalt and pepper chicken with Jasmine sticky rice Picture: Instagram/wokbox_street_food


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