Just over a year ago, Sam Pearson began his vegan sandwich business at a market stall in Stoneybatter. Fast forward 15 months, and he’s revving up to open his first bricks and mortar store after an incredible first year, despite Covid-19.
Pearson, a Dublin native, debuted Vegan Sandwich Co at the 2019 Stoneybatter festival, and was a total sell out from day one.
Since then, the business has gone on to become a staple stall at Glasnevin market, taken his wares to Electric Picnic, and managed to double its turnover during lock down after adapting his business model to Covid conditions.
“When Covid hit, part of me was like ‘well, we had a good run!’ because the market closed, events were called off,” Sam told Dublin Gazette.
“I had to think about what we were going to do next, and quickly. We have a production kitchen in Smithfield we had used for prep, and an existing website we could use to take orders on.
“I figured we had nothing to lose, and began to start doing delivery and takeaway orders from the doorway of our production kitchen, taking orders through the website. Luckily, it all paid off – we received a huge surge of support, and even had the opportunity to grow our team, we were so busy.
“We’re busier than ever, and actually doubled our takeover during lockdown through the takeaway and delivery service.”
“Our business now is so different from what it was, it would almost feel like a step backwards to return to markets, so I had to think of what the next logical step would be.”
Vegan Sandwich Co have become a smash on social media for their vegan chicken fillet rolls, delicious breakfast sandwiches and rotating specials, with the taste firmly backing up the hype as many travelled to the Smithfield kitchen for a taste, once restrictions were lifted.
Thanks to their growing success, Sam and the team will open their first restaurant on Queen Street before the end of September, while keeping the brands takeaway ethos firmly in mind.
“I knew I wanted to put down permanent roots in the community, as they were a huge part of our success during Covid. I was browsing Daft.ie one day and saw a former takeaway available on Queen Street, literally around the corner from our production kitchen, almost like fate.
“I debated the whole thing for weeks, but I’m a firm believer in going with your gut and what feels right, so here we are,” Sam laughed, saying that everything has fallen into place for Vegan Sandwich Co.
“It’s a dream come true, honestly. We’re in the middle of giving it our personality with our branding, giving it a deep clean and installing new equipment before we open our doors to the masses later this month.”
The restaurant will primarily be takeaway, staying true to their market roots, with limited seating available. For more information on Vegan Sandwich Co, and to find out the opening date for the new premises, visit VeganSandwich.co, and follow them on Instagram.