'Vegan Nights' - a trip down memory lane
Wow, finally made it to Vegan Nights, last night. Very cool. Ate too much, obvs. Not the point...
Walking past Old Spitalfields, seeing all the stallholders setting down for the day, pulled on a few heart strings. Before Paradise Unbakery was born, I printed my own clothing, dragged a humongous suitcase around London selling it all in markets and handmade fairs. Dreamed of making vegan themed designs, but it was around 2010 and not many people knew what vegan was. And it was difficult enough as it was.
Fast forward a few years and I was back at it again, but with vegan raw food! (what a crazy ass person) Vegan fairs and festivals were great, but too few and far in between and there were weekends to be filled.
First day, bang at the entrance to the Sunday Upmarket, I saw a lot of confused faces and even more that never even looked my way. What i had on offer didn't even register on that sunny day, back in May 2015.
I remember another Sunday at the Backyard Market where, I swear, for the whole day people kept picking up my cakes and smelling them or poking them (and the whole finger went right through more than once), because they thought they were candles! Mother fluffing candles! Mind you, I wasn't alone in my madness. @embrace_the_cake was there, too. (Girl, I hope you're doing well!)
At Boiler House - a woman was distraught at the idea of raw cakes and made a gagging noise...
And if that wasn't enough, one day Tower Hamlets towed my car away! I was only trying to save £10 on parking, as advised by a fellow trader. A cab home cost £60 and the car was retrieved from some god forsaken place the next day for another £380. Man!
These are the bad bits (there were more), but there were also nice times and nice people. Some are still our customers today. Not all was lost. A lot was learnt.
I have immense respect for all the vegan traders at Vegan Nights, and elsewhere. I know things are easier when they run on passion, novelty and excitement, but behind closed doors challenges lay. But then, what is life without them. Keep up the good work. We are making the change and it is so beautiful to see.
I'll be back next month to eat more!
P.S. enjoy the journey. The grass isn't always greener...