Vegan food blogger JP had recently left behind the corporate world to follow his passion for vegan food and the vegan lifestyle, and he soon felt he had found the right place to help spread the word.
"Within a day I had another meeting, within two weeks we put on our first market," he recalls. In a veritable plant-based whirlwind, the Portobello Vegan Night Market was born with an initial 10 traders, a number that has since doubled to 20. "It's all fully vegan," JP goes on, "and we have hot food traders, some alcohol, a DJ, sustainable products, clothing, beauty, everything. It's wonderful."
"It's free it's healthy food, it's lovely vibes, it's family friendly, it's pet friendly, child friendly and it's something for the locals to enjoy rather than the weekend markets, which are obviously very tourist-heavy."
JP's goal has always been to promote the three aims of veganism: care for the environment, personal health and animal welfare: "For me it encompasses all three things and it's my passion and I want to raise awareness of all those three matters within the west London community, especially Portobello," he says.
Originally from Ireland, JP has been based in Portobello for 10 years and the Night Market places an emphasis on local traders and consumers. "I love Portobello. I call it the centre of the universe. I think it's the perfect place, especially for young businesses that want to get up and running and we have the spaces, we have the area, we have people like Westway Trust that can support you."
JP is already growing his business using his experiences in Portobello as a platform on which to build, but says, I want the Vegan Night Market to be around forever. It needs to be cemented in stone that this market is still around in 15, 20 years time and we want it to grow bigger and expand and take over more space," he says.
"The demand for vegan food and the vegan lifestyle is only growing, and this is the only west London vegan event so we want to get more popular, get more of the community involved, and grow as much as possible."