Food & Drink

National Vegan Week: best vegan market in UK returns to Notting Hill

An award-winning night market is returning to Notting Hill for National Vegan Week tomorrow.

The Portobello Vegan Night Market started on Portobello Road in July 2018, and one year later was named the best vegan market in the country by Veg Fest UK.

In 2020 the world witnessed a boom in veganism with a record 400,000 sign ups to veganuary, a figure which was bettered in 2021.

JP McCormack, 39, is the founder of Plant Based Events Co who produces the pop-up market.

He said: “I’ve seen families making small changes here and there.

“They’ve either gone vegan altogether, or they’ve reduced their meat and dairy intake significantly as a result of the market, because they get there and taste the pizzas and burgers and are shocked that these are all made from plants, and no animals had to die.

“I’ve seen the market have a real positive impact around the community in so many ways.”

The vegan market had an organic rise into the status quo of the area, quickly becoming popular with vegans and healthy food lovers who lived around Portobello and west London.

Now it is back on Portobello Road, running a free, family-friendly event from 5-10pm every other Wednesday starting tomorrow.

McCormack said: “It kind of came around by chance from living in Ladbroke Grove for many years. I always wanted a vegan market, especially after travelling to east London so many times to visit other markets.

“We ran the first market, then again two weeks after that, and things just kind of just kind of grew from there.

“It’s more about being a community event, that is so important, it’s what the area deserves.  

“When we won the award, the first thing that came into my mind was the reason why we did it in Portobello, we got recognition for our vibes, for our genuine realness.”

COCONUTS FOR PANCAKES: OSU Coconuts prepping for the day. Credit: JP McCormack

Along with live music, The Portobello Vegan Night Market will host the 2018 best vegan pizza in the world winner Picky Wops, fresh coconut pancakes from OSU Coconuts, Caribbean cuisine from Jam Delish, soul food from Sun Kissed Plates and dramatic house plants from Arnott Mason.

McCormack added: “There’s going to be 20 plus traders, everything from hot food, cold food, raw, healthy, to vegan pizzas, burgers, kebabs, chocolates, pancakes and everything in between.

“And all sorts amazing ethical shopping too, from fashion clothing, beauty products, candles, jewellery, just everything.”

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