Grace Regan, Tells Us About Her Journey With SpiceBox And Shares Her Crowdfunding Campaign Plans!

Grace at Vevolution Topics: Entrepreneurs 2018

Grace at Vevolution Topics: Entrepreneurs 2018

“We are so excited to see SpiceBox grow and will definitely be joining this crowdfunding. Campaign as local residents of Waltham Forest we first hand experience the incredible food and lovely vibe SpiceBox creates. Grace is one of the leaders of the UK’s plant based business movement and in our opinion the business has bright future ahead of it.”

- Vevolution founders, Damien and Judy.

Around 5 years ago, when I’d finally moved out of home and was living off too much takeaway, I became frustrated that I could never find an Indian takeout or local curry house that served food as fresh and tasty as the meals my Auntie Dolly cooked whilst I was growing up, or that I ate whilst travelling in India. That frustration planted a seed...curry is one of the UK’s favourite dishes, there are curry houses on high streets up and down the UK, but no single brand dominates and many have failed to innovate to keep up with changing eating habits. Surely there was an opportunity here?

My curry house idea got parked when I was accepted onto a startup accelerator in Silicon Valley, but my interest in food was about to get greater! When I moved to California, I quickly became vegan. It was hard not to be swept up in the energy and passion surrounding the nascent vegan food scene in San Fran and LA - on every street corner a new vegan street food stall or cafe was popping up and on weekends you’d always find a vegan food festival of some sort packed with enthusiastic entrepreneurs selling their wares. The more I read about the environmental and ethical implications of a plant-based diet, the more passionate I became about the vegan movement. By changing my diet, I could significantly reduce my environmental footprint and, most importantly of all, a vegan diet was super easy and delicious. 

The entrepreneur in me also saw a huge opportunity - if veganism was taking off so quickly in California in 2015, surely London would follow suit…?

One cuisine that was hard to find in California was Indian food. I found myself craving my beloved curry constantly and, after finally tracking down some curry houses that served vegan dishes, it suddenly dawned on me that Indian food was the perfect way to introduce people to a plant-based diet without compromising on flavour.

And so the curry house dream came knocking once more…

Grace as a judge at Pitch + Plant 2019

Grace as a judge at Pitch + Plant 2019

Grace as a judge at Pitch + Plant 2019

Grace as a judge at Pitch + Plant 2019

Grace as a judge at Pitch + Plant 2019

Grace as a judge at Pitch + Plant 2019

Putting my two passions together, I came up with the idea for SpiceBox. I left the tech world behind, flew back to London and started selling curries from my front door. 

Fast forward 4 years and I now have my very own vegan curry house in Walthamstow, London. It’s been going amazingly well and has been so satisfying seeing my dream become a reality - turns out, like me, people really dig a fresh approach to curry house classics which draw on Indian home-style cooking. 

One of the most rewarding things about opening a neighbourhood curry house is seeing how diverse our guests are - not only in terms of age, gender and race but also in terms of eating habits. Some of our most loyal customers are self-confessed carnivores who just can’t believe how tasty vegan curry can be! 

It is this angle that really excites me - seeing that there is a demand for delicious plant-based food beyond the central London vegan bubble. I also see a fantastic business opportunity here. 50% of all UK adults will actively be trying to cut down their meat consumption by 2025, and what better way to help them by providing a local curry house that serves up banging Indian food, that happens to be vegan.

The curry house is a British institution but sadly many are closing down as a result of the demise of the provincial UK high street. It is my mission to breathe some life and soul back into towns across the UK by providing communities with a local curry house that not only serves up delicious food but also has a positive impact on society and the environment. 

This starts with a second curry house! I am so excited to announce that today we launch a crowdfunding campaign with Seedrs to fund the opening of SpiceBox #2. Feeding and nurturing local communities is an integral part of SpiceBox and so it makes sense to open this investment round up to our guests and followers. I can’t wait to share a piece of SpiceBox with our community and involve you all in our journey to becoming the UK’s leading curry house brand!