WHILE the music festival world is slowly recovering from the pandemic, one family restaurant's hopes of cashing in have been dented after their food trailer was stolen.

Taste Tibet has been serving its acclaimed Himalayan food to festival-goers since 2014 and last year opened its first restaurant on Magdalen Road, in East Oxford.

However, just as they prepared to join the delayed festival circuit, owners Yeshi Jampa and Julie Kleeman found their £10,000 refrigerated trailer, in which they store their food, had been stolen.

The vehicle, which they say is ‘vital’ for festival season, was taken between 10.30pm and midnight on August 3 from the Chiltern Business Park off Garsington Road, Cowley.

Ms Kleeman said: “We are a small business, and we cannot take this kind of hit.

“It is really terrible timing, and we really do not know what to do.

“Festivals were pulled together really last minute, for obvious reasons, and we had only put our money down to go at the end of last month.

“If we knew our trailer would have been stolen, we would not have signed up as it is a critical piece of equipment that we cannot do festivals without.”

In the past, the foodie pair have served their delicacies, including speciality dumplings, called momos, at huge festivals such as Glastonbury and Latitude.

Thames Valley Police, who were contacted after the incident, said no arrests had been made, however, its investigations were ongoing.

Ms Kleeman added: “We contacted the police, but I fear they will not be able to find it.

“We have CCTV footage but we are not holding out hope.

“It is just a plain white trailer, there is nothing to distinguish it from other white trailers.

“The refrigerated trailer costs around £10,000 alone, but it also contained lots of other specialist kits inside adding to the cost.”

Taste Tibet began by selling its food at pop-up market stalls, such as the market in Oxford's Gloucester Green.

This year it has been nominated as one of the three finalists in this year's BBC Food and Farming Award in the Best Street Food and Takeaway Category.

Ms Kleeman said: “The financial hit is one thing – but what do we do moving forward?

“We can’t buy another one, the only option is to hire.”

The couple traded at Green Man festival in Wales and were set to head to the Victorious Festival in Portsmouth this coming weekend – but at an extra cost.

In order to attend the festivals, the pair have had to splash out on a rented refrigerated trailer for £1,500, but now fear that they cannot leave the trailer unattended outside of their unit just in case it gets stolen.