2017………………the epic adventure continues!
As we wrap up another incredible year, we are having a lot of fun thinking back over what has been a life-changing year for us, both personally and as a business. It’s fair to say that in many ways, 2017 hasn’t exactly been the positive answer that we all needed after a challenging 2016. The world, and the UK in particular, has seen more than its fair share of heartache this year but New Year is always a time for hope and optimism for the amazing things that lie ahead.
So we thought we’d round up just some of the wonderful things we’ve experienced this year and bring the year to a close properly, before embarking on our biggest adventure yet in 2018.
US FOOD TOUR
The Vurger Co was born in 2016 after we spent two amazing, eye-opening weeks in sunny California, and saw just how fantastic vegetables really could be. We followed that up early this year with a trip to Los Angeles and New York, as we embarked on a food tour to discover the very best plant-based food that the US has to offer. The trip taught us SO much, but most of all, it reminded us that being unique, authentic to the core and producing food we're proud of is where it's at - so thats exactly what we set out to achieve!!
Since late 2016, we have worked very closely with the incredible Andrew Dargue and Donna Conroy, who quite literally blazed a trail for plant-based restaurants when they opened Vanilla Black over 10 years ago. They were the first, and still the absolute best, to prove that vegetables could be the stars of the show on any menu and we are extremely proud to have Andrew and Donna on our team. We worked hard together to revamp our menu and we are super excited about what we will do together in 2018.
May saw us take part in our first ever major festival, at The Truman Brewery in Shoreditch. We were completely blown away and we got to serve over 2000 burgers to so many wonderful (and very hungry!) people. It was a crazy few days but so exciting to serve up our new menu for the very first time and you all couldn't wait to beg for our first restaurant!
In Spring, we were approached by global sauce giant, Tabasco, ahead of their Summer ‘Better BBQ’ campaign. They asked us to create a one-off plant-based burger to star in their campaign and we absolutely jumped at the chance. We spent a long time working on a new burger which would incorporate their fantastic Chipotle sauce and at a pop up in Spitalfields, we unveiled ‘The Auburger’. After starting life as a one-off collaboration, The Auburger quickly became a firm favourite on our menu, and it has stayed there ever since! It's our team's favourite burger too ;)
What can we say - it was an incredible experience for us! Although it was all over very quickly (3 days!), we had spent the previous 8 months working pretty solidly on preparing for the campaign. Working on our plans, speaking to investors and making sure our food was as accessible as possible to all you lovely people!
EASY RIGHT? WRONG!
It would be perfectly understandable to look at some crowdfunding success stories and think, “That’s easy, why doesn’t everybody just do that?!”. We get it, and we used to think it too. You look at some businesses and the way they race through their funding targets and it seems like a very simple solution to the age-old funding challenges that start up businesses face. There is some truth in the suggestion that crowdfunding certainly opens up new possibilities and helps the message spread faster. There is absolutely no doubt that it helps you to engage far more deeply with people who already really care about your business and your journey, which is the best part for us. However to reach relatively large funding targets requires a huge amount of preparation and effort and so we are extremely proud of our campaign, but also have a huge amount of respect for anybody who has done the same thing.
Thank you all for believing in us, what a sensational few days that was for us and The Vurger Co!
WILDERNESS | - INSANE festival, we loved every moment of serving thousands of burgers in just 3 days, with such a gorgeous foodie focus, we loved meeting so many fabulous people, thank you for coming down to see us, especially those who bought tickets JUST to see us!
LULULEMON | This pop up was set to become a pivotal moment for us as we catered for a little beer mile event at the Spitalfields store - see why this was so important to us below!
NATIONAL BURGER DAY POP UP | COLLABORATION WITH VANILLA BLACK | - The most epic burger ever created- if you didnt get to try this, demand we bring it back - because it was seriously to die for!
BBC WORLD NEWS | - Being asked to attend BBC World news was just insane, they wanted to discuss the rise of Veganism, and our record breaking Crowdfunding campaign - it was simply a mind blowing experience for us!
STYLIST LIVE AT THE OLYMPIA | Honoured and humbled to be invited to cater their whole VIP area, we couldn't have asked for a better response and the feedback was just out of this world. Serving thousands of burgers in 3 days, we learnt so much, met so many people and were absolutely buzzing at the end!
OUR XMAS SPITALFIELDS MARKET POP UP
Following our one-off collaboration with Lululemon in August, we were invited back to take over their outdoor trading space for a month until Christmas. We had the most fantastic November & December, serving up our amazing Xmas special Vurger, packed with everything that’s great about this time of year! It was a great spot for us and we got to meet so many new people and of course welcome back so many familiar faces too, and it was a great way for us to share our food with you all as we get closer to opening our first permanent site in early 2018!
We were even lucky enough to be nominated for some awesome awards this year!
- Eat Out Magazine 2017 Awards - We were nominated in the 'Best New Brand' category -how cool is that?
- Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub 2018 Awards - We have been nominated in the 'New Casual Dining Concept of the Year' category to be announced February 2018. Keep your fingers and ties crossed for us!
LOOKING TO 2018
There are so many things that we are looking forward to next year and we are absolutely sure that it’s going to see the adventure continue! We are nearing completion on our first permanent home and absolutely cant wait to release the news shortly! We also have some surprises coming up in January so keep your eyes peeled!
No matter the challenge, a positive will alone can overcome it.
Change is needed in the world and we hope that 2018 is shaped by courage, not fear, tolerance, not segregation and love for all, not hatred. Together we can make great things happen. Choose the path that makes you happy and make decisions for the right reasons, and 2018 will be a fantastic year.
THANK YOU SO MUCH
Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts for your constant support. We wish you the most incredible happy and healthy 2018 and we can’t wait to see you soon at our very first permanent home!
BIG LOVE FROM US ALL,
RACHEL, NEIL AND ALL THE VURGER CO TEAM