58. The Vurger Co

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  • Julia Watts

Founders: Rachel Hugh and Neil Potts
Founded: 2016
Website: www.thevurgerco.com

It can no longer be suggested that widespread veganism is just a passing fad. In the UK in 2020, it’s a permanent way of life for a percentage of the population that isn’t going to stop growing.

But, if we cast our minds back to 2016, we’ll find a very different environment – one in which veganism simply isn’t catered for, and is even actively smirked at. This is the era in which Rachel Hugh and Neil Potts founded The Vurger Co: an indulgent fast food restaurant that’s purely plant-based.

Inspired by the quality of vegan food they came across on a trip to California (and the fact that Potts’ ongoing stomach problems disappeared in response to this new plant-based diet), the duo saw an opportunity for disruption in London. Instead of selling bland vegan burgers, the pair decided to use vegetables and legumes in creative ways – such as mimicking pulled pork with aubergines, and bacon with dehydrated coconut – to create a menu as unique as it is delicious.

It’s an approach that London’s vegans were clearly hungry for. While crowdfunding, The Vurger Co became the fastest restaurant ever to reach its funding target on that site. The start-up made its first appearance in the Startups 100 in 2018, and was named a People’s Champion finalist at the Startups Awards in the same year.

Now, The Vurger Co boasts two restaurants in Canary Wharf and Shoreditch, with plans to open a third and fourth in Brighton and West London, respectively. With a full service production site up and running, the company is also set to sell a range of vegan goodies in shops including Planet Organic, Selfridges, and Daylesford Farm.

It seems The Vurger Co has found a recipe for success – and we’re eager to see what it does next.

Julia Watts
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