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In an homage to classic, old-school San Francisco, our founders recently refurbished an old van for the Rothy’s headquarters. We caught up with Spencer, our Social and Environmental Programs Manager/#vanlife Devotee/Resident Mechanic, as he drove his own van, an ’05 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, from San Francisco to Seattle for a weekend away. Read below for his account of getting our 56 year-old van up and running.

Before Rothy’s was even off the ground, our cofounders fell in love with a 1961 milk van on eBay. They bought it instantly, knowing that their new company absolutely needed it. Four years later, after exhaustive research, plenty of elbow grease, and a lot of help from our neighborhood friends, the van is fully refurbished and hand-painted, and we’re ready to roll it out to the streets.

To date, we (and by we, we mean Spencer, who is currently the only one brave enough to drive it) have taken it to three outdoor events; we’ve packed it to the brim for multiple photo shoots; we’ve used it to transport hundreds of shoes; and we’ve stalled out more times than we’d like to count. Oh, and we’ve gotten towed twice. But did we mention it’s a stick shift? And that San Francisco has a lot of hills? Towing and stalling out were inevitable for a ride this classic.

Company limousine, getaway car, shoe mobile… Whatever you want to call it, we have big plans for our new wheels. Stay tuned for future events where we just might sell you shoes from the window, and make sure to keep your eyes peeled. We’ll see you out there on the open road.

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