mooshiesWith the vegan craze on the rise we are mak­ing a point to check out all the real deals killing it with their food. Early in the year we stumbled across Moosh­ies, aes­thet­ic­ally this place was HIP HOP; the graff on the walls and beats in the back­ground set that tone per­fectly. THIS was OUR KINDA JAM…and even bet­ter it was Vegan bur­gers. A step away from the usu­al stand­ard carby vegan bur­gers, Moosh­ies have man­aged to per­fect a meat-free sub­sti­tute of clas­sic bur­ger that do not com­prom­ise on taste. Who is the dream team behind this?  Say HELLO to the lovely couple Nelly and John… We catch up with them to learn more about their jour­ney!

Tell us a bit about the moment you real­ised you wanted to quit your jobs and enter the food busi­ness?

When Nelly and I met we were both employed, Nelly had been work­ing as a Video Edit­or for over 10 years in the fin­an­cial dis­trict and I was a jack of all trades with a focus on sales and mar­ket­ing in renew­ables. Then as life does its thing, Nelly lost her job when the com­pany she worked for had to close, then a couple of months later the pro­ject I was work­ing for didn’t win the fund­ing it needed to con­tin­ue and I found myself out of a job. At that point we decided we needed to take a break from the rat race and really see the world for what it is and to dis­cov­er our true des­tiny. The news painted a very neg­at­ive pic­ture of the world and we wanted to find out if this was real, so we decided to back­pack around Cent­ral Amer­ica and South East Asia for 8 months.

We decided before leav­ing Lon­don that when we came back we would try and open a Vegan café as Nelly always enjoyed cook­ing and I was a BIG fan and she would cre­ate ran­dom dishes that tasted amaz­ing! And we wanted to do some­thing that was eth­ic­al and made a pos­it­ive change in the world how­ever small.

Dur­ing our travels as well as tast­ing a lot of deli­cious vegan food Nelly would spend some time cre­at­ing amaz­ing recipes from loc­al pro­duce and that’s how our first bur­gers were born. When we returned to Lon­don we took it to the streets and stood out­side Box­park hand­ing out samples and ask­ing for feed­back. You can check out the video on you­tube! After that we did some mar­ket stalls, a pop up at Stron­grooms, a sup­per club and a Vegan Life Live fest­iv­al in Brighton before we began look­ing for a more per­man­ent spot around East Lon­don.


What was the toughest part of your jour­ney?

Every single step was tough….it still is lol. Tough phys­ic­ally, emo­tion­ally and fin­an­cially. We had no back­ers. We were not rich. We put our sav­ings on the line because we had a dream and believed in our vis­ion. Everything that could go wrong went wrong and more. Every­one wanted money and we hand’t even begun trad­ing. We ques­tioned our decisions every time but we learnt slowly that when you want to do some­thing for a bet­ter world, to change an old sys­tem things will test your strength, your com­mit­ment and your faith.


When did you become vegan, and what was it that urged you to give up meat and dairy?

When I met Nelly she was already a Veget­ari­an. I was a meat eat­er but my fath­er had been Vegan for more than 10 years, so it was an easy trans­ition for me. I knew the bene­fits because I saw it in my fath­er. Nelly felt great after cut­ting out anim­al products from her diet so I began to cut my intake imme­di­ately and saw the bene­fits very quickly. Being Vegan for us was a great step spir­itu­ally, we didn’t want to ingest more karma, emo­tion­ally and men­tally as we didn’t want to ingest the by-product of murder and envir­on­ment­ally as we didn’t want to con­tin­ue to des­troy moth­er earth when she gives us enough already.


What are the pos­it­ives about being vegan?

Our fit­ness is great, it was tested with the open­ing of the shop and the first 6–10 months we were doing 14 hours a day 6 days a week but we felt strong. You def­in­itely feel light­er, it adds a spring to your step and our med­it­a­tions are much pro­found than before. You also feel that you are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in the world and help­ing the voice­less.


Your res­taur­ant Moosh­ies is fant­ast­ic for vegan bur­gers. Many have a per­cep­tion that vegan food could nev­er be “com­fort” or “treat” food. What sub­sti­tutes are your favour­ite to show that you don’t always have to com­prom­ise on taste?

Firstly, carbs are the most com­fort­ing type of food and you can find a lot of carbs in Moosh­ies for one. But also people seem to for­get that meat on its own is taste­less and it’s the season­ing that makes it what it is. So if you add the same types of season­ing to veget­ables such as mush­rooms, auber­gines, pota­toes & beans you have some­thing that tastes amaz­ing and com­fort­ing without the added guilt to your con­science and the risk of high cho­les­ter­ol and dia­betes.


What advice can you give to any young people who want to start a busi­ness?

The reas­on we star­ted Moosh­ies was in the hope that we could inspire young people to fol­low their dreams as we have done. Everything is pos­sible. Don’t let any­one say oth­er­wise even your par­ents, teach­ers or peers of any kind. Nelly and I grew up in coun­cil estates and are second gen­er­a­tion refugees. Nelly’s Ira­ni­an and my par­ents are Colom­bi­an. Our par­ents came to this coun­try for a bet­ter life but all we ended up doing was work­ing for someone else in a mod­ern day slavery. The only way to break free is to fol­low your dreams and change the world with your actions.

If we can do it then you can all do it. All you have to do is start. If you have an idea. Set a budget that you will com­mit to it and start it. Lon­don is a thriv­ing city so there is always oppor­tun­ity.


Take a vis­it and check out these good peoples and their DELI­CIOUS grub…

104 Brick Lane
Lon­don, United King­dom


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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.