Vegan Trader of the Month: Jillian Engledow of Big V London

We continue our series of vegan traders spotlights, telling the story of your favourite street food vendors from our market.

This May, we introduce you to Jillian Engledow of Big V London, providing the best vegan burgers in town. If burgers are your thing, we're sure you've heard about Big V London already and if you're lucky enough, you've tasted their delicious grub too. If you haven't yet, plan a visit to Hackney Downs Vegan Market, on every Saturday from 11am to 5pm.

Read all about the journey behind the set up of Big V London.

Jillian Engledow of Big V London

I was born in the UK but left as a child for Australia where I lived for thirty-five years. With my two daughters in tow I departed for a six-month adventure in Thailand and never went back. We stayed for a year in Italy, followed by France, New York, back to Rome for ten years and then eventually back ‘home’ to the UK where I’ve settled happily into British life.

From a very young age I’ve had a keen interest in health which led me on a path of studying aromatherapy, massage, reiki, and eventually a Naturopathic course. Years of mothering, cooking and traveling the world just added to my repertoire and interest in food and nutrition, especially ten years in Italy! When I moved to London, the amount of burger restaurants didn’t go unnoticed. I had been making vegan burgers for years (affectionately called Mummy Burgers) which were a healthy vegan take on a very traditional burger. I started Big V when I saw the possibility of killing off the mushy bean burger and creating something with the authentic texture and deep umami flavours missing from traditional bean burgers. I finally got it right and then melty vegan cheese came onto the market so I absolutely had to get it out there and feed it to people.

Being invited to trade at Hackney Downs at the first monthly market was a great honour and it felt affirming that I’d created something worthy. It was such a surprise the first week when all of the traders sold out half way through the day as we had no idea that so many people would show up and we’ve not looked back since. The weekly Saturday market is thriving and has become such a strong community. Hackney Downs Vegan Market is also a hub of creativity. I’ve watched vegan cheese evolve as traders keep getting better and the offerings are getting broader as they experiment with new cheeses, patisserie, doughnuts, pies, and more. You name it! These products are just getting better all the time. Sean (Fat Gay Vegan) has provided a space for traders to create and showcase their offerings and it’s fitting that it’s in such a creative and unique environment. I’m very proud to be a part of this market.

Follow Big V London:

Facebook @bigvlondon - Twitter @bigvlondon - Instagram @bigvlondon

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