THE VURGER CO
Meet Leo, our front of house extraordinaire, with a heart of gold and a passion for writing .......
The last five years have been strange. I’ve been growing up, crossing that terrifying mythical boundary into adulthood that you never quite believe exists and secretly believe you’re actually immune to anyway. And then wham, bam, thank you mam you’re suddenly hit by the quite frankly shocking reality of it. Life is hard. Even normal functioning life is hard, even normal functioning life when you’re very privileged is hard. To be honest, I never thought it would be.
I arrived at life a little later than anticipated, having been ill for most of my teenage years I existed in this no mans land where nothing changed and I never really did anything apart from fight for some kind of life. I really had no idea what life was to be honest and when I got it I was obviously ecstatic, but as time went by this excitement turned to confusion, and eventually when life levelled out into normality, that’s when reality hit with full force. Life is worth fighting for but it’s not all magical roses like I very naively imagined. Doing things for the first time is always hard but I wasn’t prepared to be suddenly thrown into adult life with literally no clue.
For example, the first time I got on a train on my own I was 20. I literally had no idea how to do it, literally none at all. Apart from the fact this is terribly inconvenient for a young woman supposedly in her prime, it’s also bloody embarrassing. A few years down the line and many, many embarrassing moments later, thankfully I’m a [mostly] functioning person who uses public transport regularly and with little stress. So what’s next after mastering public transport? Well basically everything else.
When I moved to London after graduating university last year you can imagine I was pretty intimidated and a little bit terrified. Consider the fact that I still feel deep down like that alien girl who had never been on a train before but now I’m thrust into the centre of London with minimal clue about how to live in a city…let alone London.
The first step for most 20-somethings moving somewhere new is to find a job…if they haven’t sorted that already. So, mixed with stress, anxiety and the excitement of moving to London after finally graduating from uni was the terrifying ticking time bomb called reality. Jobs are hard to get, especially when you’re starting out in life and have been slightly slower at hitting those ever present ‘life targets’ weighing a lot of us down. What followed was hours of desperately scouring the internet for the perfect graduate job which quickly became the perfect internship which quickly became literally anything. What I needed, what I wanted, was a bit of a break, a hand stretched out to me giving me a chance. What I got was a lot of ‘thanks for your application but no thanks’ in the personal form of a generic email. And then I started to think what if this is it? What if I’ve reached the point where I’ve been found out, I’m the fraud, the alien pretending to be a successful functioning adult?
And then, magically, I got my break. A little bit of luck that went a long way. I walked past The Vurger Co restaurant whilst it was still under construction and saw they were hiring and thought I’d give it a go. Then I started to read a lot about them. About how they grew their business from a passion to share healthy plant based comfort food with the world. About how they’d worked tirelessly whilst working full time jobs serving their vegan burger creations in pop-ups. About their passion for the environment and determination to create a business that nudged our planet towards recovery whilst providing their customers with what they wanted. Vegan comfort food. In every sense, cruelty free burgers packed with health and life that literally make you feel so damn good.
Well I thought this is it, this is bloody perfect. These people sound cool and I definitely want to be a part of that. So I sent a message to the Vurger Co via their website and the next day I had a response from Rachel asking me to meet her for a chat. Just what I needed, an interview in the form of a chat over coffee. Easing the alien into the scary world of work very nicely. I was greeted by the loveliest of humans, someone who made me feel at ease instantly, someone who wanted to get to know me regardless of my experience (or lack of) in hospitality. Talking to Rachel I knew this was a company I wanted to work for, it was a rare find, a job in hospitality that made you feel like you’re doing something worthwhile.
Being given the opportunity to work alongside an independent business as it opened its first restaurant has been exciting, fun and an eye opener. I’ve learnt so much about how hard businesses like the Vurger Co have to work in order to stay true to their philosophy and be successful.
A starter job in London has become so much more. Being offered a supportive space to grow in confidence whilst helping to build such an amazing brand is not common, and should not be taken for granted. I also get to eat a lot of vegan burgers and oh my god that makes me so happy. The MLT well wow…not to mention their mouth watering, heart warming vegan mac and cheese. I would marry that mac and cheese if it offered.
Anyway that’s a whole other post.
If you’ve been to the restaurant you’ll get what I mean. The atmosphere exudes Rachel and Neil’s love and passion. They’ve created a space that provides amazing vegan food whilst exhibiting who they are as people: lovely, normal, caring, creative and very passionate. I have loved working there and am happy to say I don’t have to lie one bit when I’m talking to customers about the amazing food available. Their burgers are full of flavour, addictive and just down-right dangerously delicious which makes my job and life a whole lot easier.
To be offered a job somewhere that cares so much about its staff (and feeds me constantly with amazing food) well it’s a clear winner. In the wake of Blue Planet 2 we’re brutally aware we need to help our planet any way we can which means we’ve got to support the little guys, especially when it’s a business that genuinely cares about the environment, is cruelty free AND makes food that is so damn tasty.
P.s. You’ve got to try that mac and cheese