How did we get there?
Founded in Kings Cross in 2010, Vx is London’s original one-stop shop for vegans. Vegan Cross, or Vx as it’s known, is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication by head honcho Rudy Penando. Rudy was one of the pioneers responsible for establishing the revolutionary Pogo Café, London’s first 100% cruelty-free coffee shop way back in 2004 and is the creative force behind the Secret Society of Vegans clothing line. SSOV branded merch was initially conceived of in 2003 as a means to fund Pogo but has long since surpassed that objective to become one of the most recognisable and successful vegan brands on the planet.
In 2008 Rudy decided to go it alone and Vx was born. Its current Kings Cross location would be a further two years in the making, as Rudy slogged it out on a humble Camden market stall testing the demand for his plant-based wares. Eventually relocating the business to its permanent spot in early 2010, London’s first vegan boutique was opened to much applause from absolutely nobody.
Vx has always been about firsts. We were the first 100% vegan shop in the UK. We were the first outlet to stock many of the biggest vegan brands and to import many new products. We were the first all-vegan clothing line in the UK. And now we are excited to make history as the first chain of vegan shops in the UK.
Our success is attributable to our founding ideology. Pioneering the idea that veganism doesn’t have to be unimaginative or limiting, our mission has always been a simple one: to promote a cruelty-free vegan lifestyle without sacrificing taste. Veganism should never be a brown rice and lentil hell or a flavourless penance. For us, the best way to ensure the masses adopt a cruelty-free way of life that eliminates the abuse and exploitation of our animal chums, is to offer people a seriously delicious alternative. We strive to give our customers a veganised version of the type of food we all grew up loving, as well as lovingly increasing their risk of developing diabetes, suffering strokes or, worse, acute sugar dependency.
Vx offers a full junk food menu featuring two sizes of kebabs, burgers, currywurstand other disgustingly mouth-watering junk that will keep your bellies full and your waistline expanding. We are also huge importers of vegan goods from around the globe and boast an array of cheeses that are so cheese-like they confound and delight in equal measure. Sticky, sweet and awfully indulgent French patisserie rounds off Vx menu.
Vx Bristol is a joint venture between two French nationals (bloody immigrants again!), Rudy Penando and Amandine Tchou. Tired of delicious bread, being forced to wear stripy jumpers adorned with onions and arse about on pre-war bicycles while talking like Inspector Clouseau, Rudy made the trip across the channel in the late 90s and a few years later Amandine followed suit. While both found the vegan scene in the UK light-years ahead of their native France, they nevertheless resolved that there was still room for a spot of improvement.
Bristol caught the eye of both Rudy and Amandine and has remained a permanent fixture in their lives for years. Amandine fell in love with the city’s laidback vibe and quirky character over five years ago, finally making the move from Paris in 2013, and Rudy has regularly visited Bristol for over a decade to see friends and wistfully wish that London was infused with a tenth of the charm that Bristol has to offer.