Instead of tie and collar, the founder of the successful food concept Vincent Vegan wears colorful sneakers, belt bag and retro glasses. The trained banker quit his job as a management consultant overnight and set out to find his own thing. In 2013 the business plan is ready and in 2014 the first food truck rolls onto Hamburg's streets. Today we are sitting in the break room of the Food Sky in the Europa Passage, where Vincent Vegan opened a fast food restaurant last fall. We talk about luck and headwind, Iowa and Berlin and why shopping centers can hardly survive without good food.
How did you get the idea to sell vegan burgers on the street?
I always knew that I wanted to do my own thing. In my job as an IT consultant I was at a point where something had to change. The classic: I was given more and more responsibility and more money, and the pressure became noticeably greater. I was no longer happy and at some point I was also in poor health. I wanted to do something where my heart was set on it. So I quit my job and took some time out. I love animals and lived vegetarian at that time. I knew the idea with the trucks from the USA. The hype hadn't reached us yet. I liked the rough streetfood style, the directness of it. You're right next to the guests and don't have to open a door and take a seat first, like in a restaurant. That was the idea behind the first food truck.
What do you do differently?
I think what people like is that we are authentic. If I am open and honest, I don't make myself vulnerable. For me, the marketing of the future is transparency. Besides, cool guys work with us. Topi, as the second important man behind Vincent Vegan is called, was standing in front of the truck with his racing bike at the time and had just hung up the night catering. He started out as an employee and we quickly became great friends. Today we are business partners. What makes us special is our international charm. All employees in the store speak English and they themselves or one of their parents is mostly from abroad. I am the German exception. The other day a group of 8 seventeen-year-old teenagers from Iowa came to our office looking for the restaurant. The vegan scene is still quite small in this country. Before their visit, guests look specifically to see where they can find us. For some, we are something like the meatless 'Burger Kings'.