All You Need to Know: The Vurger Co.
How many times have you discussed an apparent gap in the market? Whether you’ve been stood at a street food market ranting about the lack of vegan options, or even the lack of options that aren’t just a plate of meat for that matter. Or cooked a recipe, whether it be a burger or fritter or cake, and thought about how great it would be to make that into a business. We’ve all been there, many a time. Except how many of us actually bite the bullet/jump the gun/take the risk? Probably not too many. It’s a scary thing. So we spoke with someone how did, Rachel the co-founder of The Vurger Co. to discover her story.
Q&A WITH THE VURGER CO.
Q. Where did you get the idea of creating the brand The Vurger Co and how did you come up with the name?
A. We were completely inspired by a road trip we took in California last summer where we found plant based food so normal and so easy to access. This coincided with a time that we were really looking to improve our health and after doing loads of research we decided plant based was really the way forward for us.
When we returned home we found it really difficult to find natural, plant based food in a fast casual way. We have always been passionate about the amazing restaurants, chefs and food in London but suddenly, for the first time we just couldn’t find what we were looking for.
So we set about creating accessible great tasting fast food that was 100% plant based. We also wanted a great name that would reflect our fun, accessible, easy to remember brand and so The Vurger Co was born!
Q. Seeing an obvious gap in the market, was it an easy decision to make to jump into creating the business?
A. No absolutely not, for the first 9 months of market stalls and pop up restaurants we both worked in full time corporate roles that required very long hours and a lot of travelling, so fitting in developing a brand was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do.
We knew that the only way to make this work was to take the plunge and leave our corporate jobs behind. We officially left our jobs on the same day, which was definitely the scariest but most exhilarating thing we have ever done.
Q. How do you decide what to create and what’s your thought process when coming up with new recipes and ideas?
We spent so much time at the beginning creating, tasting, developing different types of vegan burgers. We knew there was a market out there but nobody had really taken the ‘veggie burger’ to the next level - we had to break down the barriers and challenge how people perceived the veggie burger. It shouldn't be the sad 'option' on the menu anymore, deep fried and nutrient void - we knew life needed to be injected back into it.
So we set about tasting every single veggie and vegan burger on offer in London, actually that’s a forever on-going project, but we still managed a lot! We tasted the great and the not so great, and then set about creating our menu from scratch.
Q. How did you get your product to market and how would you best advise other budding food businesses like yours to get up and go?
A. We contacted just about every market in London, as we knew that this would be the quickest and most cost effective way of testing our food with our customers. We then spent a summer at Tottenham Green Market where we learnt so much about what people wanted, and how we could improve. After popular demand, we then set about expanding our menu in a pop up restaurant and found the Pillbox Kitchen which worked as the perfect space for us.
Our advice to other budding food businesses would be to make sure you’ve got all the necessary licenses, training, food hygiene – NCASS are a great source of information for this. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted and takes a serious amount of graft, hard work and determination – but seeing people enjoying your food is definitely worth it!
Q. What’s the best place you have ever eaten in London that has gone above and beyond for you?
A. That’s such a hard question, we love eating out in London for just about every occasion possible!
We have to say that Vanilla Black have spent the last decade blazing the trail for plant based food, and quite honestly do some spectacular things with the humble vegetable! Their Vegan menu is divine, the service is above and beyond and any budding restauranteur should eat there to see exactly what a great restaurant is!
Q. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up and how do you find a balance in your hectic schedule?
A. Being a start up business is extremely exciting but you definitely do have to be disciplined with your time. We plan our day, check emails, get a plan of action of what we need to achieve that week which varies depending on whether we have a pop up and go from there!
I wish it was more glamorous! Finding a balance is the hardest thing, we’re not always successful at this, but we’re learning the hard way that sleep is essential and when it gets to a certain time you just have to switch off, rest and re-charge.
Q. What inspires you to keep going?
A. Our passion for what we do, the food we create and the people we meet for sure! As well as having the opportunity to change everyone’s perception of plant based food, which is a motivation in itself.
Q. What makes The Vurger Co different?
A. Simple, delicious, natural plant based food – no weird ingredients simply vegetables, seeds, nuts, grains and legumes with no deep fat fryers in sight!
Q. What does the future hold for you?
A. We are working on opening our first permanent home which we hope will happen ASAP! We’re really looking forward to the journey from today to our first day of opening our doors and can’t wait to welcome you all there! Stay tuned!
p.s. this isn't just a marketing tactic, we ate their burgers and felt awesome and now we want to tell you to do the same!
p.p.s. order the vegan mac & cheese too.