Vegans hot dogs from the Mighty Fork
Update August 2014: The Mighty Fork has now closed permanently.
My husband took me to taste the yummy hot dogs made by The Mighty Fork recently. We ended up eating 4 or 5 of the 6 options between us on our first visit there! :)
Their journey is inspiring so I wanted to share it with you. So here it is, in their own words.
About the business
We do globally inspired hot dogs so packed with flavours that you'll want a fork to go back for the toppings.
The Mighty Fork is a street food business based in London, UK providing a healthier twist on fast food that is suitable for most dietary needs and taste buds. We believe in a plantbased diet it's good for you, the planet and the animals. We also believe our food is just like life, not meant to be boring.
We're fast food lovers at heart, and the Mighty Fork was born to fill a gap in the vegan food market. We wanted to provide better plantbased alternatives for anyone with a craving for good old comfort food classics. We're starting with a hot dog revolution, but we're not stopping there! Now you can enjoy fast food that is not junk food and you can be sure that our hot dogs are healthy, nutritious and wholesomely good for you.
You can find us in a street market in London, look out for our locations on our website, Facebook and Twitter.
About the owner, Rita
As a longtime vegetarian living in countryside Portugal most of my life, I didn’t have any ready meals available and sourcing meat alternatives was almost an impossible mission. Therefore I've developed and mastered my own recipes purely out of food cravings. This also got me daydreaming about having my own little vegetarian restaurant sometime in the future. After moving to London in 2011, I realized it was fairly easy to live a plantbased lifestyle and so I became vegan. This spurred even more interest in creating innovative and flavoursome plantbased recipes.
About the concept
We started developing the concept last summer, and by April 2013 I had left my day job as a digital project manager in a creative agency to fully focus on The Mighty Fork. I spent long hours experimenting in the kitchen and I can tell you our closest friends and family have had a few too many hot dogs in the months prior to our launch!
Right from the beginning I knew I wanted to explore fast food classics, being a junk food lover myself. It became obvious to me while weighing whether to focus on burgers or hot dogs, that the latter has gotten far less attention lately. It also fit really well within the idea of creating globally inspired recipes for the diverse cultural backgrounds of Londoners and the street food industry.
Our menu is broad in terms of flavours, and we’re certain there’s at least one hot dog you’ll love. The Yasai Dog is a japanese inspired hot dog topped with japanese yasai curry, sautéed onions, wasabi mayo and spring onions. The Big Chilli finds its inspiration in America, being topped with black bean soya chilli, jalapeño peppers, red onions and american mustard. The Brew Dog finds its origin in a secretish recipe from northern Portugal, it has a tomato beer sauce best known as Francesinha sauce, which we “veganized”. There is also the Sauerkraut Dog which explores german / polish flavours, containing warm sauerkraut topped with tomato ketchup and mustard. And of course, we also have the Plain Jane, which is the good old hot dog, topped with sautéed onions, tomato ketchup and american mustard.
We’re 100% plantbased
We’re committed to providing a great tasting new perspective on vegan diets that’s creative, healthy and fun. Our mission is to inspire people to up their intake of plantbased meals to at least once a week. By choosing more sustainable and ethical options you're not only helping the environment and the animals, but also improving your personal health.
Since all of our ingredients are 100% plantbased — cholesterol can only be found in animalderived foods — our hot dogs are a healthier option. We believe great tasting food shouldn't be bad for you, so you can enjoy fast food that is healthy, nutritious and wholesomely good for you.
Also low in fat
The joys of life shouldn't come at the expense of your health, so we carefully picked all that goes into our hot dogs to be low in fat without losing any flavour. Our tasty organic tofu sausages and homemade plantbased toppings are naturally low in calories. Keep the craving, lose the waistline.
On having a niche food business in the UK
It may sound scary and it certainly isn’t an easy task, but sometimes being a niche business will make you thrive no matter the economic situation. Starting your own business means trusting your creativity and judgement. The key is to develop a concept to a point where you have something solid but flexible enough to allow for business growth. Being ahead of the curve doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Instead think, if you see a bandwagon it might be too late. We've only been trading for little over a month, so we have yet to see where the curve will take us.
As an entrepreneur you have to be a jack of all trades and a master of all. You can find me developing recipes, cooking, trading at markets, managing stock, being an accountant, managing social media, taking care of branding and design, etc. It surely isn’t for everyone, and I couldn’t do this without all the help and support from my amazing fiancé, Pete.
One thing that keeps us positive is that there is a growing demand on vegetarian and vegan food in London and the UK in general as people are increasingly switching their diets to a more plant based one for a variety of reasons. Either backed by eating healthier or losing weight, animal and environmental concerns, leading a crueltyfree lifestyle, vegetarian/vegan food is becoming much more mainstream these days and the market needs to cater for these dietary needs. Recent research predicts that the number of vegetarians in Britain will increase from 5% of the population to 10% in the next 2 years, and also a notable rise in 'flexitarianism' — the trend of eating less meat and more vegetables without adopting full vegetarianism.
Our biggest difficulty so far lies mainly on getting a spot at street markets which is always a challenge because of the sheer lack of pitches available in a city like London. The most positive thing has been our customers and their feedback, we've gotten so many great reviews and praise we feel truly humbled and motivated.
For now we are embracing the street food scene in the vibrant city of London. If the opportunity arises we would love to open our first dinerstyle joint, where we would be able to expand our menu and offer indoor seating for our customers all year round. For more information: Rita Fontes, Owner, The Mighty Fork Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you tried their hot dogs?
If so, what did you think?