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18 Month Old Vegan Street Food Stall Raises £450K

SpiceBox is now looking for a permanent site

SpiceBox cury

Indian street food brand SpiceBox — founded out of Grace Regan’s kitchen on Columbia Road in 2016 — has secured £450,000 in new investment from 2enable Partners.

The brand, which is only 18 months young, has been trading with the street food collective Kerb since 6 October. Before that, Regan had run a stall from outside of her house in east London and at festivals across the UK. "The funds will be used to launch our first permanent site, roll out takeaway and delivery, develop our menu and grow our team. Our aim is to build a plant-based food brand with mass-market penetration and we can't wait!” she said.

"The backing we've received pays testament to the fact that London is fast becoming the plant-based capital of Europe. Gone are the days of veganism being associated with falafel-eating hippies; the exponential growth of this movement isn't a fad, it's a key part in building a sustainable future where the planet and it's population can thrive," Regan added.

Regan, who has a large extended Indian family, told Eater that the concept was inspired by the way she learnt to cook and her own inability to get the sort of curry she was used to getting in India. “I chose Indian food because cooking curry is how I first learnt to cook.

“I was also inspired to create a London-based Indian food brand out of my own frustration of not being able to find a decent curry in East London where I live! I'm surrounded by curry houses but couldn't find the type of food I was used to eating in India — light and fresh curries with layers of flavour that didn't leave you with a food hangover the next morning.”

Regan’s own veganism is relatively recent, having changed her diet after moving to California for an accelerator programme in Silicone Valley in 2015. “I suppose our food is modern vibrant Indian food with a Californian twist. I came up with the idea whilst living in California and the veg-centric, light but complex and delicious Californian approach to food definitely shines through in all of our dishes,” she said.

“Delicious Indian food doesn't have to be loaded with fat, sugar and thousands of calories,” the brand’s website reads, under a heading “Curry as you’ve never had it before.”

“SpiceBox is giving the Indian takeaway an update. Drawing from ancient Ayurvedic wisdom, we pack our curries with super spices that nourish your body and soul. We've swapped animal fats, sugar and general nastiness for vegetables, pulses and plant-based goodness — meaning that all our Spice Boxes are less than half the calories of your standard takeout, whilst tasting just as good. Win.”

The above is open to debate. A new vegan reality in London is not.