IN 2011 Anna spend 2 months on an organic pearl farm in French Polynesia (pictured above) She was very much not vegan at this point. Whilst on the Atol in the middle of the pacific ocean, free-diving in warm pristine waters, she found herself falling even more so in with love the ocean. At Kamoka Pearl Farm, the electricity is solar, the rain water is collected, the sky is is palm tree lined and the fish enjoyed for dinner are hand selected by the method of spearfishing.
Anna started researching how our demand for fish like salmon, shrimp, cod and tuna were affecting our oceans and came across a Documentary called "End of the Line". It clearly showed that you couldn't claim to be an ocean lover and still eat fish. After this hard hitting truth, she had a light bulb moment..... to start a fish free sushi company.
IN 2013 Anna and her food van Gloria spent a summer hitting food festivals and small events around the south, trading under the name “Maki Matcha” offering fish free sushi burritos and matcha tea and smoothies.
IN 2014 Happy Maki was born, Anna set off to larger events and music festivals. Slinging sushi burritos in wrapping paper that educated people with facts about our fish & the oceans… but not many people read them! It was this year that Anna learnt more about the link between food and the environment. One line the documentary Cowspiracy hit hard “you cannot be an environmentalist and still eat meat”. Anna made the decision to turn her and the company vegan and never looked back.
IN 2017 The first Happy Maki takeaway was opened in the South Lanes of Brighton, the menu grew from 4 to 10 wraps and with time the shop built a strong customer base becoming a very popular grab and go choice for beach picnics.
IN 2020 After a lot of studying ethics and morality and time taken to design the world's first digital donation till system, the company switched to working on a Gift Economy model. It was a huge learning experience for us and turned more into an education project. When given free reign 1/4 people chose to not donate for the cost value of the food which after two years forced us to put a discount limiter in.
IN 2021 Against all Covid odds Happy Maki opened the doors to its first restaurant in the heart of Brighton. A 50 seater space, with the new menu addition of sushi bowls.
The gift experiment stopped IN 2023 so that the company could focus on growth in other areas and make use of superior sales and stock tech that they didn't have access to using thier own app but you can still read about it here.
We hope to see you for some sushi soon either in Brighton or in a field :)