Congratulations to Flave for recently becoming the first all-vegan restaurant chain to be certified by Vegan Australia. Offering healthy, tasty and affordable meals, all free from animal products, this month is Flave's one year anniversary after opening in December 2021. After a long process of checking all their menu items and ingredients, the entire Flave menu passed Vegan Australia Certified's strict vegan standard. This includes all of Flave's burgers, bowls, desserts and sides, as well as all drinks, including beers, wines and spirits.
Flave is the brainchild of founders Samantha & Stuart Cook, along with head chef, Scott Findlay. After a serious health scare in 2016, Samantha's doctor advised her to focus on plant-based eating. Stuart joined Sam on her plant-based journey of recovery. Sam says "We were utterly surprised at how great we both felt and how, when combining the right ingredients, plant-based foods were pretty damn flavourful."
After looking into the negative effects of animal products on our health, they also came to understand the global impact that animal products have on the environment. "From greenhouse gas emissions to deforestation, wildlife extinction, impacts to our beautiful coral reefs and manufacturing processes, it all contributes to a crisis in our climate." says Sam.
After realising that there was a big gap in the market for great plant-based options in restaurants and wanting to raise awareness about the health and environmental benefits of plant-based eating, the concept for Flave was born and the mission set: to 'Flave' the world.
The next step was when Scott Findlay joined the team as head chef. Scott formally trained under Gordon Ramsay, before honing his plant-based skills over a decade working as a private chef for Sir Paul McCartney (a pioneer of the Meatless Mondays Movement) as well as for a number of celebrities including Rihanna, Beyonce, Madonna & Elton John. Scott created an entirely plant-based and sustainable menu for Flave that "packs a serious flavour punch".
When we asked Sam why vegan certification was important for Flave, she told us "Flave's core business mission is to build a sustainable world. We take great pride in bringing to the forefront super high-quality, nourishing plant-based fare and to that end, we as a business, want to ensure our guests know they're receiving the best of the best. What better way to demonstrate to our growing community that we have a completely certified vegan menu, assuring our guests from the get-go that the ingredients of their favourite Flave burger or bowl have been well-vetted by the leading vegan certifying body in Australia."
Before Flave, co-founder Stuart was CEO of Mexican restaurant chain Zambrero and oversaw its growth from 2 restaurants to over 100. Zambrero's Plate 4 Plate initiative, where Zambrero feeds a meal to someone in need for every meal sold, has donated over 63 million meals. Sam worked as a CEO in the not-for profit sector.
Regarding future plans for business, Sam says "It's an ambitious one but one we hope to have 1,000 restaurants globally in the next 10 years - that's how much we believe in our mission!" One year after opening their first restaurant in Sydney's Bondi Beach, they are now operating a trial shop in the Bondi Junction Food Hall and are fitting out their second full restaurant in nearby Darlinghurst with an opening date of early 2023. Recently Flave ran a crowdfunding campaign to help grow their business and make plant-based eating more convenient for all. That investment offer was fully subscribed. Flave is working out the details to begin sales in India, with at least 42 restaurants over the next 5 years, and also have plans for the US and China.
Flave's mission is to make saving the planet, absolutely delicious. And easy. As Stuart says "We want to make eating plant-based easier to do than doing anything else." The goals of Flave are a good match for those of Vegan Australia: to normalise veganism and to make it more convenient, affordable and accessible. We are very happy to be able to certify Flave's entire menu.