Wether you are vegan or not this new vegan takeaway in St Albans, Plantopia is definitely impressive and is something positive to come out of this pandemic that’s for sure. I met the boys on Instagram and I was instantly attracted to their food so I decided to feature them on my blog and do a quick Q&A to find out a bit more about their story of Plantopia. I love to try different foods as I like variety and me and my family are eating more plant based foods. I had the Miami burger and it was sooo good so next time you think of having a local takeaway give Plantopia a try, you won’t be disappointed.
Tell me about Plantopia?
Plantopia is a vegan takeaway that we (my business partner Nabil and I, Alessandro) created in the second half of 2020, offering a fully plant-based (and tasty) menu for pickup and delivery around St Albans.
Have you always been vegan?
Not at all! A couple of years ago we were questioning whether eating animal products was the best thing we could be doing for our own health and the environment. Once we started asking these questions we opened a whole massive can of worms, and ended up binge watching documentary’s on the subject. After that we started to be vegan straight away, although the transition wasn’t always easy, we were determined!
Have you always had a passion for food and when did it start?
We have always had a strong passion for food, starting from a young age. We were both brought up in families where food and dinners were central to the family with (mainly) out mothers working hard in the kitchen and serving up fantastic dishes. Nabil always worked in hospitality, he was the owner of a food market stand in Leather Lane, London. When lockdown began last March he was forced to cease operations and I had just completed my degree in business, but the job market was pretty stagnant. We found ourselves in a dilemma. What’s next ? Well, as new vegans we could never find a full plant-based menu that satisfied us, so we combined this with our love for creating food and decided to open something ourselves! And so, Plantopia was born!
Whats your most popular vegan dish?
Well the burgers are always very very popular, especially on weekends. After that I would say its our Mango & Coconut Curry which we can’t seem to make enough of these days!
Do you think being vegan is more sustainable?
Production of animal based products in just a lot more wasteful in terms of resources, specifically, water and land. It is sometimes a hard thing to get your head around but popular documentaries such as ‘What The Beef?’ on Netflix helped us to get a better idea of just how wasteful beef, in particular, can be.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of becoming vegan?
I will suggest to taking it slowly because it’s not so easy to go completely cold turkey on meat products. I know many people who have had success going in stages, Pescatarian, Vegetarian, and then finally vegan. Also you can make a huge difference just by taking a more flexitarian approach ie having no meat days once a week etc. it doesn’t have to feel like a punishment, and I promise, in the end it will feel a whole lot better and you won’t be able to imagine yourself eating any animal products! Also, there are some great imitation meats now available on the market, alongside some truly terrible ones! Experiment with different brands and you will be sure to find something you like
Tell us your top ingredients every vegan should have in their cupboard
Pasta, rice, legumes a good supply of different herbs and spices (!), vegan bullion, nutritional yeast
Lots of veg in every single colour, Tofu, Tempeh, a good vegan sausage and plant milk, cream and butter.
Do you have a favourite vegan restaurant/takeaway?
Erm yes, ours 🤩
Whats the future vision for Plantopia?
We aim to open a high street takeaway and launch on market stalls in London. Then, THE WORLD!