Community supports vegan cheese company after kitchen unit "trashed" by ravers

This is how I Am Nut Okay,'s Hackney Wick unit looks like today after vandals broke in for a rave. 

This is how I Am Nut Okay,'s Hackney Wick unit looks like today after vandals broke in for a rave. - Credit: I Am Nut Okay,

A community came together to support an independent Hackney vegan cheese business after ravers broke in and vandalised the dream kitchen they were building. 

Couple Nivi Jasa and Angela Chou set up their artisan company I Am Nut Okay three and a half years ago. 

At the time the "broke" pair started making nut-based cheeses and spreads from their small home kitchen in London Fields, where they used to live, to make extra cash at local markets.

But the business soon grew and they moved to a small commercial space in Hackney Central.

A selection of I Am Nut Okay, vegan cheese.

Sixteen out of 18 of I Am Nut Okay, vegan cheeses are made with cashew nuts which are fermented and then aged to ripen the flavours. - Credit: I Am Nut Okay,

They launched an online shop and more recently in mid-May, spent all their savings on a unit in Hackney Wick which would house a new kitchen and storage space.


You may also want to watch:


Nivi said: "Within two weeks of having the keys I received a call from the building managers saying that a bunch of people broke into the unit for a rave and vandalised the whole place."

MinerThreat is I Am Nut Ok's signature cheese.

MinerThreat is I Am Nut Ok's signature cheese - a bold, smoky cashew cheese ripened in a coat of activated coconut charcoal ash. - Credit: I Am Nut Okay

He said the new unit was "trashed", the walls plastered with graffiti with broken bottles and cans littering the floor. Work builders had started had also been damaged. 

Most Read

Nivi said he "almost felt like crying" because the vandalism was too much to handle initially but was grateful they had not been storing any stock in it yet. 

Founders of I Am Nut Okay,, Angela Chou and Nivi Jasa.

Founders of I Am Nut Okay, Angela Chou and Nivi Jasa. - Credit: I Am Nut Okay,

At the time of the incident Nivi's partner Angela was away in New York, so he waited until she had returned to tell her and then reach out to the public for help via a Crowdfunder which launched last week. 

The dairy-free cheese artisan has been overwhelmed with all the support they have received so far. 

In a week the couple has raised almost £10,000 to help repair damage not covered by insurance, build their new kitchen and install a security system. 

The Hackney unit before it was vandalised.

The Hackney unit before it was vandalised. - Credit: I Am Nut Okay

Police reported that on June 6 they received an allegation of criminal damage after an unlicensed music event had been held in a building in Rothbury Road the previous night.

The Met said: "Officers conducted an investigation including collating and viewing video footage of the event but no suspects could be identified."

The investigation is now closed. 

I Am Nut Okay,'s spicy PapaRica plant-based cheese. 

I Am Nut Okay,'s spicy PapaRica plant-based cheese. - Credit: I Am Nut Okay,

Still Nivi worries the vandals could cause damage to other small businesses if not caught. Adding that they likely sold drinks at the rave as evidenced by price labels left behind. 

To support I Am Nut Okay visit www.gofundme.com/f/vegan-cheese-kitchen-vandalised-by-ravers


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter