No, this post isn’t about some kind recipe book sequel to erotic novel The Story of O. It’s about a new sandwich shop in Shoreditch (try saying that three times quickly).
O-food is a pop-up sandwich bar on Rivington Street that originally popped up or ‘soft launched’ in August (that’s marketing newspeak for opened without a grand opening). It was the official launch last week and I went along to sample some sandwiches and find out what it’s all about.
O-food aims to bring sustainable, healthy and tasty fast food to London. How? First of all, they don’t use any meat, because it’s a highly energy intensive food to produce. Secondly, they don’t use any of the ‘big five’ fish, the most popular and over-fished varieties (haddock, prawns, tuna, cod and salmon), while the fish they do use is sourced from low impact fisheries in Kent. Thirdly, all the vegetables used are sourced from British farms, meaning they don’t have a gigantic carbon footprint from their jumbo jet flights into the UK from overseas.
Since fish and vegetables are generally lower in fat than meat, and since you won’t find these sandwiches slathered in butter and mayonnaise, that’s the healthy bit covered. As for deliciousness, having sampled several miniature versions of the O-food speciality sandwiches like the Hastings (a fish patty with romaine lettuce, tomato and gherkin) and the Portobello (mushroom, mature cheddar, tomato, red cabbage and pesto) I can vouch for the tasty factor. And they all come wrapped adorably in white paper packages tied up with string. You can also get salads, coffee and a few breakfast bits.
The shop was set up by Jens Hannibal, Daniel Flosser and Roel Philippart. The trio met while studying in London and discovered they wanted to combine their interests in sustainability and business.
‘We’re not people who think that meat-based fast food is inherently bad,’ Hannibal explains. ‘We just think that someone needs to take the lead to show people delicious, low impact, alternatives to meat and mainstream choices of fish.’
Hannibal and co have been so pleased by the response to O-food that they’ve decided to keep the shop popped up even longer so they can continue to spread the word. So you’ve got until 23rd September to get down to the ’ditch and experience the future of fast food for yourself.
O-food, 54 Rivington Street, LondonEC2A 3QN, will be open daily from 8am to 4pm until 23rd September 2012. Visit www.o-food.co.uk.