This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 18/11/2018.
Meet the twins running a new vegan Caribbean food stall at Surrey Street Market
They’re on a mission to prove traditional plant-based food doesn’t have to be boring.
Dedicated vegan’s of Croydon can rejoice as a new Caribbean food stall has now opened selling traditional plant-based cuisine only.
The Croydon-born identical twins, opened The Livity by Twinz food stall at Surrey Street Market, in Croydon town centre, four months ago and now serve their vegan dishes to over 150 locals per week.
Founders Kareema and Kaleema Shakur-Muhammad each have a decades worth of chef experience and founded the classic Caribbean food stall after health complications meant they transitioned to a healthy plant-based lifestyle.
Kareema, 27, says: “I was working in the chef industry for a long time which can be stressful, so I was advised by a friend 18 months ago to change to a plant based diet to improve my health and that’s when I became vegan.
“Me and my sister have both always been vegetarians and grew-up on Caribbean foods, but we always made meat-free variations, so all of our dishes have the traditional taste but are all vegan friendly.
“The meals we serve are freshly prepared by us and we have offer three different dishes per day that change on on a weekly basis, jerk lentils and curried jackfruit are very popular with customers.
“I enjoy trading at Surrey Street Market because we have that interaction with customers.
“After working at the back of a restaurant you don’t get the chance to meet people, plus working with meat as a restaurant chef can sometimes be hard.
“We love showing people that veganism isn’t difficult and showing customers, especially those that eat meat, you can enjoy nice, tasty vegan food.”
In the future, the duo would like to open up the first Caribbean plant-based café in Croydon and get the community involved, aiming to employ local people who find trying to secure employment difficult.
Kareema says: “We have grown-up in Croydon and we are part of the community, so we know what struggles young people face getting into work so we want to create opportunities for them.
“We have set-up a Go Fund Me page so others can help get the café started.”
The Livity by Twinz stall is open at Surrey Street Market Wednesday – Friday, 11am – 4pm.