We here at Sweet Crimes are happy to report that we not only survived but thrived at Envision Festival in Costa Rica! We definitely ran into some challenges along the way, but it was nothing a great attitude and great gluten free donuts couldn’t conquer.
Our day started early (and I mean EARLY) with our 4 AM flight to Costa Rica! We were lugging two Kitchenaid mixers in our carry-ons… plus camping gear, propane burners, propane adapters and a propane tube in our luggage. So we definitely got in a workout before we were even off the ground. For reference, everything in the picture below was carried in by hand!
Once we landed in beautiful Costa Rica, our next challenge was getting all of our supplies in order. We needed to buy almost everything; the only ingredient we brought with us was xanthan gum. We had planned ahead and had contacted a local restaurant supplier and lined up a festival friend to serve as a translator because our Spanish was a little shaky.
When we got to the supplier though, there had been a mixup and we were told we couldn’t get a membership to buy supplies! We had a few tense moments because we found this out at 4:30 and the supplier closed at 5 PM. Luckily, another Envision Festival vendor was in line behind us and offered to let us use their membership to buy our supplies.
Our next adventure was in trying to purchase all of our non-restaurant supplier ingredients. We traveled to every single store in town and couldn’t find potato starch and applesauce, two essential ingredients for our gluten free donuts. We spent the evening experimenting with our recipe to see if we could make a swap.
Guava paste was a decided flop, but we figured out mashed banana worked perfectly! It was beautiful serendipity that our changed recipe was totally unique to Envision and incorporated local bananas. The resulting donut was so tasty that we might be changing our donut recipe permanently. One-hundred-seventy bananas and 67 kilos of rice flour heavier, we headed to our lodgings for some much-needed sleep (all two hours of it).
After a detour adventure for propane and almost 7 hours of winding mountain roads in a rental car, we arrived at our temporary home at Envision Festival and met up with the rest of our team. We were four people strong and ready to conquer.
We vended 24 hours a day for four days straight. We had shifts for breaks and sleeping (and for making some time to actually see the festival). Over 7,500 people attended Envision, so while we had some lulls, our busy times were CRAZY. While we spent the vast majority of our time meeting and greeting (and feeding!) festival goers, we definitely made time to explore.
The jungle was unimaginably beautiful, and there was almost always music echoing from one stage or another. We enjoyed hearing Tycho, Random Rab, and Bedouin and seeing aerialists and fire spinners. We got painted in blue clay, went to the beach, and enjoyed the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The festival goers were just as creative as the acts– one of our favorite customers was a guy on stilts in a zebra costume!
Our donuts were the talk of the festival and we got really amazing feedback from many newly minted Sweet Crimes lovers. We’re really happy we were able to connect with the Envision community and take advantage of this opportunity to share our edible art.
Having tackled all of the challenges we did at Envision, we’re really confident that we can do ANY festival! The community-minded atmosphere and creativity of these kinds of music festivals really speak to the soul of what we do here at Sweet Crimes. We got a lot of great recommendations for future festival venues at Envision, but what we would really love is to hear from YOU! If you have any suggestions of places you would like to see us next (local, national, OR international), please shoot us an email at email@example.com or hit us up on social media.