Meet the Maker: The Pies Have It

As a vegan couple, Marco and Carla Casadei were keen to prove that vegan food is not just one option on a menu, and that it can compete with traditional foods, so they launched London's very first vegan pie and mash shop, Young Vegans.

Meet the Maker: The Pies Have It

As a vegan couple, Marco and Carla Casadei were keen to prove that vegan food is not just one option on a menu, and that it can compete with traditional foods, so they launched London's very first vegan pie and mash shop, Young Vegans. 'We love good British food and nothing is more satisfying than a hearty serving of pie and mash!' says Marco. 'It was tough to get started as not many markets were interested in vegan food and we didn't have much money, so we were doing as many vegan festivals and pop-ups as we could and trading anywhere that would take us.'
Now settled into a 200-year-old building in Camden Lock Place, the charming space features lots of repurposed old wood, hand-painted furniture and candlelight
to create a really cosy, arty feel. Evolving the menu is one of their favourite aspects
of the business, and customers love their quirky take on traditional recipes. 'We have a lot of fun coming up with new food ideas and this is something that happens
naturally day to day anyway. Currently, we are taking concepts that don't normally
exist in the pie world and making them pielike just for fun. A lot of these have ended up being very popular, for example, the Mac 'n' Cheese and Cheeseburger pies, and most recently Le Coq au Vin!

'However, the Seitan & Ale is probably our biggest seller as that is most like a steak
and ale pie, so it ticks boxes for vegans and omnivores alike. We also love our All Day Breakfast – it really tastes top notch and is very hearty. I also think the gluten-free option – Sweet Potato in Red Wine – is a must-try. You wouldn't even know it was gluten-free, so anyone can enjoy it.'
With pie and mash coming in at £7, or with a dessert and drink included for £10, Young Vegans proves plant-based food can still be hearty, good value and appeal to a wide range of people. But what's with the name? Surely their pie and mash is not just for trendy 20-something Camdenites. 'Our name, Young Vegans, is all about eating well and feeling good both nutritionally and karmically,' says Marco. 'We compare this with feeling young again, which is why we chose the name. We've got lots of exciting plans for the future so watch this space… we can promise that whatever we do it'll be fun and full of heart.'
• Find Marco and Carla's pie shop at www.youngvegans.co.uk.

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