Alan Sugar is now in the vegan business thanks to the Apprentice’s 2019 winner Carina Lepore. Never having owned a shop before, Lord Sugar’s £250,000 investment has taken him into new territory and he has clearly seen the importance of vegan food.
Helping launch a new vegan range at the Dough Bakehouse in Herne Hill, Sugar spoke to the Standard setting out in his own inimitable way the importance of offering vegan options, especially to young people.
Offer vegan or suffer the fate of Kodak
“From a business point of view, one can’t blame companies and businesses, including our own, for jumping on the bandwagon and starting to produce vegan products. That’s exactly why we are doing this.
“That’s how you remain in business. If there is a demand for a new kind of product like a vegan item then, of course, you need to cater for it, and those that haven’t will fall behind, it’s as simple as that. It’s a bit like the demise of Kodak, they kind of ignored the digital revolution, and they went from a company that monopolised photography to zero, basically.
“You see things like that happen, and the same will be applied to food. If big companies don’t start observing that vegan stuff is important, they may find that some of their products start to dwindle in sales.”
Dough House has one site in Herne Hill in south London and is now offering an “extensive” vegan menu including a vegan sausage roll with sage and onion, vegan pasties filled with swede and potato, and on the sweet side a vegan banana cake, vegan chocolate brownie and vegan energy balls.
Give Greggs a run for its money
Lord Sugar said the new range is the launching pad for its attempts to give high street giant Greggs a run for its money with a hundred nationwide stores – that is the Apprentice winner’s personal promise to Lord Sugar.
“And what I can see so far, I think she’s got a good chance. They’re doing excellent stuff, and the food quality, the cakes and the patisseries are excellent” said Sugar.
Dough House is planning nationwide expansion but the man himself is not changing his own diet which does not include much meat he says.
All products are made on-site and the business is run in conjunction with Lepore’s parents.
“We pride ourselves on being across on the latest food trends, so we are really excited to bring our new vegan range to our customers,” said Lepore who plans to prioritise keeping prices low.