Shoreditch vegan kebab shop nominated for Best Takeaway
PUBLISHED: 13:06 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:42 19 February 2020
What The Pitta
What The Pitta is a finalist for Best Takeaway in the British Kebab Awards this year. The exclusively vegan kebab shop was the only one in London when it opened and its owners say it was risky starting an exclusively vegan kebab shop.
"People thought we were crazy," said co-founder Cem Yildiz. He and his business partner Rojdan Gul originally started selling meat-free doners in 2016 in a little wooden cabin at Shoreditch's Box Park. "It blew up naturally from there," he said.
"Everybody's doing it now - this year's booming with veganism."
He thinks a win for them would really 'shake things up' and help influence more restaurants to be more eco-friendly and sustainable.
Cem said: "Not all our customers are strictly vegan, there's a lot of non-vegans trying to reduce the amount of meat they're eating.
We want to create something really good for everybody and hope being nominated for the Kebab Awards shows you can still have a really good tasting kebab that just happens to not contain any meat and is good for the planet too."
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Interest in veganism has grown considerably in recent years. According to research by Retail Economics, commissioned by the British Takeaway Campaign, orders for vegan food have increased by 388% since 2016 when the British-born Turkish restaurant owners started their business inspired by an uncle's vegan kebab in Germany.
Today, there are What The Pitta branches in Hackney, Croydon, Brighton and Camden - with a fifth opening soon.
"When we first started there was a lot of food markets and vegan nights in the area. We were in Box Park which is all about inspiring new innovative dishes and now there's three or four different vegan traders there.
That alternative vibe brought people who were willing to try something new and experiment. I think that's what millennials want from their food - they want new experiences and flavours," said the 31-year-old.
For him kebabs aren't just Friday night junk food - they are best made with the freshest ingredients, breads and sauces.
The Box Park branch has been nominated for Best London Takeaway in the British Kebab Awards.
To find out more about What The Pitta click here
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