Page 24 - Varsity Special Issue
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22 /Lifestyle                                                                                                                                                                                                         / 23

        a plant-based diet at least one day a   Modern Vegetarian Startups in   up meat gradually for a better me and
        week, according to the Hong Kong               Hong Kong               better world,” Chan says.
        Vegetarian Habit Survey conducted       Esther Chan and Joei Lo became    “Anti-COVID-19 restriction on
        by Green Monday in 2020. The num-   vegetarians three years ago. “At that  seating capacity caused a drop of
        ber has increased by 44 per cent com-  time, most vegetarian restaurants  50 per cent of our business.  In July                                                                              “
        pared with the same survey conduct-  were traditional Chinese restaurants.  and August, we had a six-digit loss
        ed in 2018.                         There were some luxurious vegetarian  in both months,” she says. She adds                                                            Every bill in a vegetarian
           Green Monday, the Hong Kong-     restaurants, but they were expensive,”  that the pandemic is the most difficult
        headquartered plant-based social    Chan says.                         situation since they opened and they                                                            restaurant is a life-or-death
        venture, was founded in 2012. It ad-   The pair decided to open their own  expect no improvement in coming                                                                    vote for the animal.
        vocates the adoption of a plant-based   vegetarian restaurant in 2017 – an all-  months.
        diet, and it owns nine retail stores   you-can-eat restaurant that serves   Kay Kwan King-wun and his wife
        in Hong Kong which provide plant-   Southeast Asian plant-based dishes  Kit  Ho  Kit-ting  is  another  pair  who
        based food products.                located in Tai Kok Tsui.           opened a vegetarian restaurant. The                                                                                   ”
           The social venture announced it     Chan and Lo are determined to  couple quit their jobs last year at the
        raised US$70 million from global in-  prove plant-based dining can be inno-  age of 33 and started a vegetarian café
        vestors to accelerate its market growth   vative, delicious and diversified with  in Sham Shui Po and later in Tsuen
        on September 22 on its website.     food choices. “We encourage meat  Wan.  The  café  serves  fusion  plant-                                                  K wan and Ho in fro n t o f their vegetairan cafe in Sham
                                                                                                                                                                       Kwan and Ho in front of their vegetairan cafe in Sham
                                            lovers to take a small step to try giving  based dishes such as Spicy Thai Im-                                             Shu i P o. (Photo c ou rtesy o f Years )
                                                                                                                                                                       Shui Po. (Photo courtesy of Years)

                                                                                                                          possible Spaghetti and Tom Yum Ri-  networking with vegetarians who also  lack an effective tool to find plant-
                                                                                                                          sotto.                             love animals. The group now has over  based products. Ching and other ad-
                                                                                                                            “More and more people are aware  70,000 members.                     ministrators of the Facebook group
                                                                                                                          of vegetarianism, but vegetarian res-  “The platform connects              are also building an app - Veg-
                                                                                                                          taurant choices (in Hong Kong) are    vegetarians, vegetarian-                Future, which has lists of
                                                                                                                          limited,” Kwan says. Inspired by res-  to-bes, and plant-based                  plant-based restaurants and
                                                                                                                          taurants the couple visited in other  businesses. Members ex-                   plant-sourced shops. The
                                                                                                                          countries, they develop fusion dishes  change cooking recipes,                  app has a search function
                                                                                                                          for their menu.                    recommend     restaurants                    for users to identify non-
                                                                                                                                                             to each other and share                      vegan ingredients like addi-
                                                                                                                              The Online Vegetarian          diet tips in the group,” Ching             tives E120 and E966      which
                                                                                                                                   Community                 says.                      J oe Ching Pu i -sang  are commonly used in sweets
                                                                                                                                                                                        Joe Ching Pui-sang
                                                                                                                            Joe Ching Pui-sang started a Face-  Ching says many vegetar-                and cakes.
                                                                                                                          book community group “The Vegetar-  ian  restaurants  have little resources   “Even though conscious entrepre-
                                                                                                                          ian Youth” 11 years ago in bid to build  in doing marketing while vegetarians  neurs are bringing greater variety to
                                                                                                                                                                                                 vegetarian catering market, we still
                                                                                                                                                                                                 need to speed up the change,” Ching
                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Every bill in a vegetarian restau-
                                                                                                                                                                                                 rant is a life-or-death vote for ani-
                                                                                                                                                                                                 mals,” he adds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Edited by Regina Chen
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Edited by Regina Chen

                                               My Meat Ru n Bu dd y in T ai Kok T sui. ( Photo c ourtesy o f My Meat Ru n Bu dd y )
                                               My Meat Run Buddy in Tai Kok Tsui. (Photo courtesy of My Meat Run Buddy)
                                                                                                                                 The Vegetarian Y ou th has o ver 70,000 members  o n F acebook.
                                                                                                                                 The Vegetarian Youth has over 70,000 members  on Facebook.
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