Kingston’s vegan market: Bringing a vegan twist to Old London Road

Beyond the leaning telephone boxes of Old London Road, passionate business owners set up their stalls ready to present their customers with an array of plant -based and ethical products on October 31. 

The day did not get off to the best of starts as an unwelcoming shower of rain and wind made it difficult to set everything up.

There were meant to be twenty seven traders coming, but the unfortunate weather left some of them dropping out at the last minute.  

However, the other 19 businesses set up their colourful stalls and in a matter of minutes the street was flooded with customers. 

Founder of Ethical Vegan Events, Louise Simpson said that this event brought life back to Old London Road.

“It would’ve had a much bigger market… but we’re lucky that we still carried on,” she said. 

As the day went on the sun started to emerge from the clouds. People were queuing up to get their hands on vegan cakes, skin care products and burgers. 

Simpson said she hoped to have more events like this to spread awareness and connect people with vegan traders. 

It was not only vegans who showed up to the market. Meat eaters also dipped their toes into the vegan world. 

“It warms my heart because it all makes it worth while,” Simpson said. “This is a good way for them to cut their carbon emissions.” 

Some of the traders started creating their businesses after losing their jobs during lockdown, finding a gap in the market or catering for family members with allergies.

The businesses that attended the market are listed below.

1. Pomodoro E Basilico

Instagram: @pomodoro_e_basilico

Pomodoro E Basilico, run by Sara Mittersteiner, is a vegan restaurant selling comfort food with ninety five per cent of her ingredients being organic. Sara’s array of vegan burgers dominated the stage. Each had their own unique flavours and left stomachs full. 

2. Cakes Free From  

Instagram: @cakesfreefrom

Cakes Free From was founded by Marisa Campos four years ago. Her inspiration stemmed from seeing that there was not a lot of variety out there when she turned vegan. Her love for baking and artistic flair was the showstopper at the event as her Halloween themed bakes grabbed the attention of the customers. 

3. All Out Foods

Instagram: @alloutfoods

All Out Food is a street food trader which started four years ago. They started making seitan burgers as a way of providing a plant based burger with a meaty texture. Seitan is a type of wheat meat that gives a meaty texture. Tim Moxon, along with his team had cues of people right through to the end of the event. 

4. Picky Wops 

Instagram: @pickywops

Starting in 2016, Cristiano Vitelli had a goal to try and educate people by showing that you can have a healthy pizza, and, even better, it’s vegan. Vitelli’s talents don’t stop there as he also does weddings, private parties and pizza classes. His stand dominated the scene at the market as he showcased his vegan pizzas which were a huge success. 

5. Sweet and Kind Vegan 

Instagram: @sweetandkindvegan

Sweet and Kind is a vegan crepes business that also does brownies and sweets. They started around three years ago when founder Anika Paldau found that there was no variety out there. The transition to vegan was easy for Anika and her passion definitely showed in her display of sweet treats. The crepes were a firm favourite amongst customers. 

6. The Infusionist 

Instagram: @the_infusionist

Trained chemist Beatrice started her sustainable plant-based skincare and aromatherapy business around seven years ago. Every product that she produces is from scratch and are designed to last longer. Customers can return empty packages to her and she can reuse them. 

7. Boba’s Plants 

Instagram: @bobasplants

Boba’s Plant is a sustainable plant business founded in 2018 by Boba Ashworth. Boba rescues plants that are about to be chucked away and displays them in novelty pots. The intricate design and shapes of the plant pots make for lovely houseplants. 

8. The Custom Spirit Company

Instagram: @thecustomspiritco

For people who like the taste of spirits, The Custom Spirit Company allows you to design your own spirit. You can choose flavours, how strong you want it and  how sweet you want it. Founder Callum Giblett said: “Why don’t we let people make what they want and they can come up with their favourite?”

9. Blessed Olives 

Instagram: @blessed_olives

Blessed olives, founded by Christian Flynn, showcased an array of olives, colourful hummus, as well as his award winning Tapenade’s. Through his love of olives Christian decided to share this with others by selling olives and hummus with bursts of flavour at a reasonable price. 

10. OrganicO

Instagram: @epsomorganico

OrganicO is a coffee shop and at the market they displayed their colourful salad which had betroot, butternut squash, quinoa, cauliflower, broccoli and cous cous. They have been in business for more than four years and are big supporters of the vegan market. 

11. Twisted Kombucha

Instagram: twistedkombucha

Twisted Kombucha, founded by Lou Dillion sells colourful bottles of hand crafted Kombucha. It is packed full of vegan probiotics which is good for digestion and supports the immune system. An added bonus is that it is low in sugar. With her masters in food science, Lou experimented with ingredients to produce something really special. 

12. Dulce De Leche

Instagram: @myvegandulcedeleche

A popular dish in Argentina, Dulce De Leche is originally made from cows milk. However, this did not stop founder Cintia Yankelevich from putting her own vegan twist by adding coconut milk instead. With this she can proudly say that she has produced the first vegan Dulce De Leche in the UK.

13. Sophie’s Vegan Bakes 

Instagram: @sophiesveganbakes

Another vegan baking business is Sophie’s Vegan Bakes which sells vegan and dairy free brownies, cakes and cupcakes all made from the comfort of her home. Her brownies are sold up and down the UK and if that wasn’t enough, Sophie also makes wedding cakes which you can pick up from her house. 

14. Sophie’s Delight

Instagram: @sophies.delight

If you are becoming vegan or are lactose intolerant but can’t resist the temptation of cheese, then Sophie’s Delight will have something for you. Sophie Martinez makes artisan vegan cheese from organic nuts and spices. After experimenting with flavours, nuts and seeds, Sophie made something that captures the flavours of real cheese. 

15. The Vegan Sadhu 

Instagram: @vegansadhu

The Vegan Sadhu started making vegan curry pastes as a way of bringing convenience into the kitchen. The curry pastes are packed full of ingredients that you can add to anything to make a delicious meal in around ten minutes. With the convenience and simplicity, The Vegan Sadhu makes it easier to incorporate vegan products into your diet.

16: Binary Botanical 

Instagram: @binarybotanical

Binary Botanical makes vegan table beers. David Bakker described the drink as giving a “light sparkling at the front of the mouth with a herby ness down the throat.” The beers presented at the market had two strengths; a 4 per cent alcohol and an alcohol free. The team have gone to markets in London, Surrey, Barkshire and Hampshire to showcase their unique creation. They also won 2021 Sustainability Award because they use the Hob plant which is very sustainable. 

17. Jefferson Crafts 

Instagram: @jeffersoncrafts

This business makes reusables for the home out of fabric which would have been thrown away in landfills. They make products like makeup wipes, kitchen towels and even soap holders. Dani Jefferson and the team have always been passionate about the environment and that showed through their products. These sentimental and sustainable products are great ways to help the planet. 

18: Lunar Chi

Instagram: @lunar_chi

Lunar Chi sells crystals and crystal candles as well as hand crafted greeting cards with water colour, calligraphy embellished with little crystals. After taking a Reiki course and finding out that she was a healer, founder Stephanie Pak wanted to share the universal healing energy of Reiki through her candles. 

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