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Veganism: The Noble Way of Living

Odd Burger - Canada’s Vegan Fast-Food Sensation, Part 1 of 2

2022-01-25
Language:English
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Today, we’ll meet James and Vasiliki (or Lia) Mclnnes, co-founders of the Odd Burger vegan fast-food restaurant chain from Canada. With a noble mission to offer “delicious food made from scratch using plant-based, minimally processed and sustainable ingredients that are good for people and the planet,” Odd Burger is bringing two niches together by serving fresh, healthy, delicious vegan food to diners really fast!

“For me, I remember the moment that I had, I call it, kind of my awakening. It was a moment where I was eating a piece of chicken; it was leftover rotisserie chicken, at home. And as I was eating it, I looked down, and I could see bones, cartilage, veins, and I had a moment where I realized: I'm eating an animal, and that is what really changed me.”

“Well, after we had done the meal kits, we actually had a produce market at the time; we were doing veggie burgers at the market. And so, we were kind of getting into the prepared food business, a little bit at the time. And we took one of the meal kit recipes, now called Famous Burger, to a meat festival, called Rib Fest 2016, in London, Ontario, and it’s obviously a meat festival. And we brought this burger there, and we sold out.” “So, and it was very shocking I think, because at the time, obviously, people did not expect a vegan company to sell out at a meat festival. That was very surprising.”

“It's such a different business; fast food itself is a different business in itself. It's not like having a restaurant, so fast-food is challenging, just in terms of making things consistent and being able to make it quickly and at a low price point. Those are the challenges and that’s what we kind of loved about the fast-food business.” Despite these challenges, James and Lia’s business quickly grew into Canada’s first vegan fast-food burger chain and even the world’s first 24-hour vegan drive-through.
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