Tracy and David are feeding Sydney's inner-west a vegan take on traditional Vietnamese food. Source: Supplied
Demand for vegan food is growing. Australia’s packaged vegan food market is estimated to be worth $215 million by 2020, according to market research firm, Euromonitor International.
For restaurateurs, that means adapting to the changing tastes of Australians.
Tracy and David opened Golden Lotus Vegan in Sydney’s inner west to a huge response and designed the menu drawing on their Buddhist origins.
“Vegan food, especially Vietnamese vegan food, from our restaurant is inspired by Buddhist origins," says Tracy.
Head chef and co-owner David Nguyen making a vegan pho. Source: Supplied
Tracy says the majority of the restaurant's customers are vegetarians and vegans.
“We welcome everyone to come to Golden Lotus to try our very healthy and still tasty food,” says Tracy.
“Our special dishes are our eggplant that is served in a clay pot and also the vegan pho.”
Tracy and David were born in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and first met in high school.
"I met my husband (David) when we were in high school, but we were only friends then," says Tracy.
“I studied in Singapore for two years and my husband had been in Australia for that time, and we have decided we would have a reunion in Australia."
The couple offered a free tasting menu on the first day the restaurant opened which ignited strong customer interest.
“When we first started our business in 2015, we offered a free tasting menu to everyone and so at the time we got 200 people lining up at the door,” says David.
“After that day, we're like a bomb to the market - everyone's surprised about how amazing vegan food is."
Co-owner Tracy Ho with customers during grand opening of restaurant. Source: Supplied
The business has since extended their shop next door and have plans to open another branch in the Sydney CBD next year.
“We have got a lot of support from loyal customers and that's why you can see a line up every single weekend,” says David.
“We feel very guilty that people stand on the street in winter.
"They must feel very cold, but they still wait for the food.
"That’s why we looked for an extension somewhere else".
Revenue has increased by 20-30% since extending the restaurant next door. David and Tracy plan to re-invest that money into making the business as environmentally friendly as possible.
"We changed all the plastics to paper bags, and all our cutlery is called bio-cutlery," says Tracy.
"Also the straws, we don't use plastic straws, we use paper straws."
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3 min read
Published 26 October 2018 at 1:41pm
By Lin Evlin