For the past year or so, Pepe and her son Guy have been serving up their unique Superfood Sushi at vegan events and farmers markets. I got to know Pepe at an event in Sydney where we had a great time talking about food (of course) and her new venture. She is such a fun and inspiring character and I’m so excited to be sharing this interview with you.
Since I last saw her, Pepe has taken her business to next level; successfully funded a Pozible campaign for the first vegan sushi cafe in Sydney, Superfood Sushi which turns traditional sushi dining on its head – All products served are 100% Vegan and super-healthy. What a rockstar!
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Pepe Marshall.
Hi Pepe, tell us a bit about you personally and give us a little insight into your business, superfood sushi
Hi Keren, thanks for taking the time to contact us regarding our new business, Superfood Sushi. I trained as a chef and had a café in Auckland, New Zealand before moving to Australia ten years ago. I have more recently been in the corporate world owning my own commercial real estate business until recently. I decided, along with my son Guy to come back to my love of cooking, and what better way than to incorporate my lifestyle and providing people with innovative, fresh healthy food. Cooking and food constantly consumes me whether it be whilst I am reading, travelling or researching I am constantly experimenting.
What make you decide to pursue superfood sushi? How did it all start?
This is a start up business that Guy and I developed when we couldn’t find any plant based sushi around except for the boring unhealthy white rice rolls filled with avocado or cucumber- that’s is really all that’s available out there, so we decided to make our own. We have been serving up our sushi at organic farmers markets, vegan events and catering for the last six months and are about to open Australia’s first Vegan Sushi Café. Note: Superfood Sushi is Now Open!
Would you mind sharing your transition story and what made you choose to transition to a plant-based lifestyle?
As with most of us my personal journey has been over a long period and began when I was unfortunate enough to witness the murder of a pig when I was very young, which has always haunted me. Over the last six years my life, both personally and professionally took a major turn and I began on what I could probably best describe as a path of awakening. I experienced that lightbulb moment and have not looked back and feel happier and healthier for it.
What are some of the challenges you face as a veganpreneur and what do you love most about your business?
There are challenges at every step of the way with business, no matter in what realm you choose to operate in. I guess the main challenge for us, and other vegan business owners is sadly the often mistaken but widely held concept of that we are all loonies and that vegan food tastes like cardboard!!! I try to take a more softly approach and stay away from heated discussions that only tend to alienate people.
As for the cardboard taste… Our main aim is to try and seduce people with food – pretty simple really. Whether our customers are vegans, vegetarians or meat eaters we are aiming for the same result, to help people to stop using animal products. Many people are under the misconception vegan food is boring. It is any but boring. In fact I think some of the most creative recipes I have followed and created have been plant based.
So all in all, I expect the majority of our customers will be vegans, which of course is a much smaller part of the general population. Therefore our turnover is very likely to be less but costs are the same or higher than a non vegan business, so that’s always going to be a challenge. However, you ask what do I love the most, well, the opportunity to alter peoples perceptions about creative plant based food is really just too much fun!
Do you have a favourite quote or mantra that you live by? Would you mind sharing it with us?
I have many mantras! Everyday I recite the Maha Mantra and on top of that I guess the most important one is to be kind and have compassion. That can be taken may ways, be kind to the animals, to our family, to our loved ones, to our fans and the haters and to ourselves… Its pretty simple, everything emanates from that. Oh and BREEEATHE… that’s a good one when things get stressful
If you could list your 3 most favourite vegan food, what would they be?
Well that simple.. Avocado, Avocado and hmm lets see…. Probably Avocado! Seriously, at the moment I am in love with cashew fetta, raw lasagne and coconut flesh. I really eat most anything but try and stick to whole natural organic ingredients.
If you could give the aspiring vegans and veganpreneur one parting piece of advise, what would it be
Well, I am still aspiring myself, so not sure how qualified I am to be offering advice. I think through this journey is to stick to who you are and your beliefs and values. Always remember why you are doing what you do and how promoting a cruelty-free plant based lifestyle by how you choose to operate your business has so many benefits
Finally, how could we learn more about you and your work?
Well, we will be opening June 13th in the eat street of Newtown, King Street. 69-77 King Street, Newtown
So please check us out, sign up to our monthly newsletter to find out first hand all the latest.
- Website: http://superfoodsushi.com.au/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/superfoodsushi
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/superfoodsushi
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/superfoodsushi/
Superfood Sushi now open Monday to Sunday 11am to 9pm and is located on 69-77 King Street, Newtown