Happy Maki was started to show people that sushi can be sustainable and delicious without the fish. Sushi means seasoned rice after all. Inspired by time spend on an organic pearl farm in French Polynesia, I was sushi obsessed and started researching how our demand for salmon, shrimp and tuna were affecting our oceans. It was hard hitting information and after watching "End of the Line" an idea was born and Happy Maki has now grown to support more than just our oceans. I knew I couldn't claim to be an ocean lover whilst contributing to the very thing that was destroying the oceans...eating fish!
As I mentioned in "the story" Happy Maki went vegan for the positive environmental impacts. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of, deforestation, water pollution, habitat loss, species extinction, soil erosion and global greenhouse gas emissions. However as I'm sure you've heard by now its also great for your health and most importantly and rewardingly it means you're no longer contributing to unnecessary killing and suffering of animals. Although previously not top of my priority list the benefits, on a soul level, turning vegan has been so overwhelmingly positive and rewarding. Its hard to put into words how much sadness you feel when you finally connect to your contribution to the suffering. However there is also the huge relief and joy in knowing that you're no longer part it that. I would never have been able to kill a cow, pig, chicken or duck but the fact that I was willing to pay someone else to do that traumatic job shows a large issue of ethics. Going vegan in the western world, is an easy decision, its just that the majority don't want to give up food that brings us comfort and industries that we've been brought up supporting.
Although we are a vegan company, the food we serve is only one of many factors taken into consideration when trying to develop a loving business model. Our founding principles are :
This relates to the transparency we aim for in the business that we do, and in our communication with customers and staff members. Doing honest work is very important to us. When making business decisions we ask "What would love do?" a lot of the time this takes us to an easy answer, other times we have to go against what we have been taught or what feels most comfortable, but thats the way change works not everyone understands it or feels comfortable at the beginning. We work on our environmental impact which includes everything from how we deal with our rubbish to type of energy we us in store. We work on self responsibility and equality within the company and with our customers. We aim to ensure that staff are self responsible in their job rolls. We don't serve alcohol out of care for our customers and were hoping that an alcohol free space for people to hang will help change the norm around eating out and what we need to have a good time. And of course we are now trialing pay as you feel, asking ourselves what would love do, love wouldn't demand, love would give gifts. To learn more about this go to the "pay as you feel" page.