An interview with LazyBoy Kitchen, the pop-up with the best vegan cheese recipe
E.C.O.’s way of showcasing and celebrating the efforts of normal, lovely people who are changing the world’s outcomes both big and small
We got in touch with Dean from Lazyboy Kitchen who is making waves in vegan fast food and tackling arguably the hardest taste challenge – vegan cheese.
What they do: LazyBoy Kitchen serve the best and baddest Mac n Cheeze along with other vegan fast food alternatives. Check out their ribz and grab one of their jars of cheeze if they haven’t already sold out!
Why we love LazyBoy Kitchen: They are everything that E.C.O. stand for; they understand how small changes collectively improve outcomes which include single-use plastic reduction, plant based food alternatives and sharing good practice and example setting. Dean also works with young people and shares eco beliefs through mentoring.
How we know LazyBoy Kitchen: We found LazyBoy Kitchen at Vegan Nights and joined the huge queue of hungry eco warriors waiting to dig into the most delicious vegan mac and cheeze out there. The team were smiling, chatting to customers and delivering sensational food.
LazyBoy Kitchen’s bit:
Who are you and what is your business’ personal eco story?
Like many other people, I have become increasingly concerned with the destruction of our planet through pollution and carbon emissions. As I have developed through adulthood, I have learned the importance of personal responsibility and example setting. I have also been working with young people in a mental health setting over the past 3 years which has afforded me the opportunity of mentoring and leadership. My experiences have led to mental and physical changes in my life to better align myself with my ethics. This included going vegan, avoiding single use items were possible, and shopping more ethically.
When I started Lazyboy Kitchen I wanted to try my best to carry these ethics through to the business practices. Our company only uses biodegradable paper and wood products rather than plastics, eco-friendly cleaning products and vegan ingredients. However, the eco journey is on-going and I am always trying to reduce my environmental footprint. I believe changes have to come from within and the best thing I can do is set an example.
How and when did you start LazyBoy Kitchen?
We started trading in early 2017. I had always wanted to start a market based food business but I hadn’t been serious about it. I went vegan in March 2016 for ethical reasons, and like many new vegans I missed cheese. I particularly missed mac & cheese, which had long been one of my favorite comfort foods. I went on a journey to find the best replacement that still carried some nutritional value. Along the journey I discovered nut based cheeses and felt they had the best taste and nutrition. I started experimenting with different recipes at home, using my friends and family as taste testers.
Meanwhile, I was unhappy with my work place and wanted a creative outlet to express myself and began thinking more seriously about starting up a food stall. One night in bed the idea crystallised in my mind, start a food business based on vegan mac & cheese! I spent the remainder of 2016 trying to perfect the vegan cheese recipe and then started trading. It turned out to be popular and we have been serving up our mac & cheese ever since.
What challenges have you faced while becoming more eco? Have you had challenges trying to encourage people to believe in your cause?
I have had offers to take over restaurants and bars, only if I agreed to also serve some non-vegan items. Whilst they could have been great business opportunities, I have had to turn them down due to ethics.
It is sometimes challenging finding items that are both eco-friendly & vegan. For example, reusable bees wax paper is widely available as an alternative to plastic wrap, but vegan options are much less available. Sometimes you have to search a little further or spend a little more to find something that does less environmental harm.
What is an eco-tip you swear by?
The easiest tip is to carry reusable cups, containers, cutlery & a shopping bag with you at all times. You will save money and reduce a lot of single use waste.
What should customers know about LazyBoy Kitchen?
We encourage our customers to bring their own containers and cutely and have offer a discount for those who do. Make sure you bring your own reusable food containers next time you see us!
What about LazyBoy Kitchen are you most proud of?
Our business provides an opportunity to support small eco-friendly & vegan companies and individuals.
Has your journey changed how you act environmentally?
I have become aware of how much waste a food business can create. As business owners, we really have to take the initiative to create less waste and a smaller carbon footprint even when there is no financial or marketing incentive.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
If we all make small life changes, it will have a big collective impact. Do not feel you need to change your life completely in one day, environmentalism is a journey, one that we all need to continually learn, work on and strive for.
Once enough people prioritise impact to the environment over convenience in our purchasing, the larger corporations will be forced to align their practices to stay viable. We have already seen this change over the last year with large companies all investing in veganism.
Can we please just give a round of applause to Dean! You can find LazyBoy Kitchen at Vegan Nights and many other pop-ups. Check them out on Instagram and make sure you follow to find out where they are next.
Small print: This is not an ad. The Tiny Eco Geek has not sent us anything in return for this post. We are shouting loud to the rooftops to help support people who are making efforts to change outcomes!
If you have something worth shouting about and want us to Meet: you please contact us! We are interested in talking to anyone who has made a positive environmental impact either big or small.
Grace works for a School Improvement Partnership and is our resident ocean lover. Having worked as a scuba instructor in Indonesia she has picked up her fair share of ocean plastic. Her favourite eco product is Oliva Olive Oil Soap.