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Green Light in the City

Mocky-D: The Vegan Fast Food Pioneers on Finding Their Forever Home

23 October 21 words: Daniela Loffreda

Mocky-D has been shaking up the meat-free fast food scene in the city for the past five years. We chat to owners Ben Lord and Clare Morrissey about pioneering the way forward for vegan street food in Nottingham, the ‘Cult of Mocky’ and finding their forever home…

Mocky-D has pretty much become a household name for those living in Nottingham. The pop-up stall is raved about by vegans and meat-eaters alike, and owners Ben Lord and Clare Morrissey have built a cult following for their burgers that offer the same great taste of meat, but without the guilt. 

When the duo first launched Mocky-D, they never could have expected the response they'd receive from the Nottingham community. 

“We’ve been blown away by the support. When we started we just sort of appeared and we kept it under the radar, and now the reputation of Mocky-D is quite big, and we’ve just got lovely customers - they’re wicked people,” exclaims Ben. 

The pair met back in 2008 and bonded over their shared passion and vision for ethical food. After experimenting with fake meat products, they wanted to show people just how good vegan and veggie food can taste. It was Clare’s trip to Chicago that first introduced her to seitan. The gluten product, renowned for its ability to absorb flavours, can act as a perfect meat substitute. 

Half a decade on, Mocky-D has successfully paved the way for a new breed of street food in Nottingham city centre. 

“We just love it,” says Ben. “We’ve been watching everyone from Clemie's Vegan Cakes to No. Twelve. We all know and support each other. We all do something a little bit different, but we add to this big vegan jigsaw.”

“Nottingham’s really soaring with the vegan community and it's great to be a part of that,” Clare adds. 

“We’ve got kind of a cult around us, the Cult of Mocky, and through Instagram and social media we’ve made a lot of great connections, so it’s like we’re a little family!” 

We’re really proud to be in Nottingham. I think we stirred the scene up quite a bit

But Mocky-D isn't just about great tasting food - the business aims to be as ethical as possible by using compostable packaging and ethical wholesalers. 

“When people eat with us they don’t have to worry about the ethics of the business. We’re really proud to be in Nottingham. I think we stirred the scene up quite a bit,” Ben muses.

The pop-up stall has enjoyed so much success that Mocky-D is now looking to find its ‘forever home’ somewhere in the city. 

“The next thing is to get a permanent place, but we're just waiting for the right place and the right time. We talked to the council and we’re interested in the Broadmarsh redevelopment and the green element that they might be doing. We just need to pick the right location,” Ben says. 

The pair hope that having more stability for Mocky-D will allow them to explore some exciting ideas they’ve been keen to try. 

“We condensed our menu a bit for this year’s event season but I think we still counted maybe over fifty items,” Clare explains. “We realised we were basically trying to be a small cafe from a truck and because we have so many ideas, it's time to move up,” Ben adds candidly. 

It's safe to say that Mockys is here to stay, and much to the delight of Nottingham’s foodies. If you’ve not tried it, then go and find them. We promise it won’t disappoint.

facebook.com/mmmockyd
@_mocky_d

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