It’s a powerful combination of a love of food, a love of animals, and a desire to protect the environment that has catapulted Blake Hein Thet and Luis Kanu’s ‘Vegado’ into the restaurant scene.
This is the future of responsible restaurant eating, with near-zero waste, vegan and affordable food.
“Blake is the vegan, focused on improving his health and we are both determined to create a business that is environmentally sustainable”, said Luis.
On delivery to customers, there is pure joy with the food arriving in unbleached recycled paper. Let me assure you there is not one skerrick of plastic visible.
Where the major innovation appears is in the structure of the business plan that minimizes food waste.
It may take customers a little getting used to the systems. All deliveries must be ordered by 6pm on the previous day with deliveries only during business hours.
In doing so the boys are 100% sure of the daily food needed. “We don’t have any waste as we know exactly what we need to prepare for the day’s orders. We go to the markets every morning for the freshest food.”
With the operation running Monday to Saturday, every third day has the same three dishes to choose from. The same three meals offered every third day.
The inspiration for the food is worldwide, from Mexico, the Middle East, a touch of America, with a vegan burger and a Choco Fuzzy Pancake.
In Singapore Luis and Blake meet through their parttime work in 5-star hotels and catering as chefs.
This is where the idea for Vegado emerged, to share with Yangon the taste sensations they’d discovered overseas. Both had been enrolled in engineering courses but realized each had a very different passion. Luis desired to set up businesses. Blake, a committed vegan and cook had a grand plan to set up a responsible dining service in his hometown of Yangon.
“The idea was to first set up an online vegan restaurant, then within three months open the online vegan store. Then, we will open restaurant only after two-three years later,” said Luis.
Setbacks aside this business is moving ahead in leaps and bounds, it seems Yangoner’s are embracing the new model.
Each week around 75 meals are delivered, with about 70% of their customers being expats. That’s disregarding the Covid-19 challengers; not bad for such a new business.
Spreading the word of their business is equally important as educating the community. But the boys differ in their Vegan views. “Blake is Vegan, but I’m not”, said Luis.
“For the moment we are trying to communicate that being Vegan may not work for everyone, but you can reduce the amount of meat you eat,” said Luis.
There is one last issue. The food, the food is simply divine.