Casuarina burger bar serves up delightful vegan menu
AT THE age of five, Sam Elliot made the decision to become vegetarian.
Now 22 years old, Sam's compassion for animals and the environment has inspired him to open a vegan burger bar in Casuarina.
While he might be considered a young entrepreneur, Sam's commitment to business has already led him to operating a pizza van at major festivals and now he's ready to offer alternative dining options to a wider audience at his new Familiar Takeaway shop.
We chat to Sam about Familiar Takeaway:
Why did you decide to operate a vegan business?
I became vegetarian on my own accord during a class that showed us the processes from farm to table. My parents have always supported my beliefs and catered differently for me from a young age.
As I entered my 20s I learnt the importance of a vegan diet for yourself, for the animals and for the environment.
It's something that I began to feel so strongly about that I couldn't continue to sell animal products. Early last year I decided to leave my festival pizza business to follow my heart with something I truly believe in.
What was it like to design the entire fit-out of your shop?
Familiar is the flagship for a business fit-out concept I have been working on for about two years now. I spent some time in China last year visiting direct manufacturers of kitchen equipment, lighting and cabinetry.
I taught myself 3D design and developed a modular, removable business fit-out that I produced to fit out at The Commons. It all came on a 40ft container earlier this year and just rolled into the shop.
From there it was painting, plumbing, tiling and installing the electrics, all of which I have never done before.
My parents helped where they could, while I also worked with an electrician and one incredible plumber/handyman.
Why have you decided to use sustainable packaging?
We're promoting two things with Familiar - sustainable and plant-based. I think all businesses should practise sustainable business. It's easy and can often save you money.
Why did you settle on your new location at The Commons in Casuarina?
I love Casuarina. I worked across the road from The Commons as it was being built. The growth potential around here was enough of a reason to want to do business here.
What do you most enjoy about operating your own business?
There's a real sense of responsibility, having staff who love where they work, and genuinely being treated as an adult, finally.
What's the biggest challenge in operating a business in Tweed?
At the moment, exposure. The people of Tweed have been amazing with their support, but our shop has proven to be difficult to find.
What are your future plans for the business?
Familiar is a brand I see a lot of potential with. I would love to see this grow, but at the moment my focus is purely on getting it off the ground.
Where: Familiar Takeaway, shop 2/480 Casuarina Way, Casuarina
Contact: 0474 125 081
Visit: www.facebook.com/ familiartakeaway/