On a night out in Brighton, I recently stopped to get food at a hut under the station that sold burgers. Whilst waiting for my burger, (vegetarian – plenty of veggie options available) I noticed a few familiar friends on the shelves and quickly realised that this wasn’t an ordinary late night burger bar – the Biona ketchup and the bags of Cavolo Nero gave away the fact that this place belonged to someone who wasn’t just buying in cheap – this was an ORGANIC fast food place! So a few days later I went back and spoke to Paul Clark, the owner of Trollburger in Brighton.
Paul is passionate about good, ethically grown food. All of his ingredients are organic or are locally grown and all of his produce is purchased from independent growers. He started out as street food stand in April 2012, serving burgers from a trailer in a car park as The Troll’s Pantry, before taking to a pub kitchen. In October 2016 he went back to his roots and created Trollburger. He says ‘I’m now done with pubs and feel the street is where I should have been all along.’ Part of the reason for this is that there is opportunity to engage with his customers which is an important part of what he does. He feels (rightly) that there is a real problem with organic and ethical food – in that it is often seen as pretentious, and reserved for fine dining in expensive places. A lot of people feel that eating responsibly is something that is not available to them, whether it’s unaffordable or just out of reach through location.
One of Paul’s reasonings about burgers is that they cross class boundaries – everybody loves a burger! This takes any pretentiousness away, as they are being cooked and eaten in such a relaxed and fun environment that it’s impossible to argue that this organic and ethically sourced food is not for everybody. Being face to face with his customers also allows Paul to talk to them about his passion for food (which is infectious) and to encourage people to do their bit for the ethical food movement. As he said to me, he ‘feels part of a movement that’s swept across Brighton’, and it’s really good to see street food take such a strong stance on sustainable food, championing local produce, animal welfare and zero food waste.
The beef in Troll burgers is sourced from Sheffield Farms, and the home-made seasonal sauces, pickles and veggie patties are all topped with High Weald Dairy cheese and served in a Flint Owl bun. Trollburger is about creating affordable mouth watering dirty burgers, made using the finest local and seasonal ingredients. If you’re ever in Brighton, you should definitely take a stroll under the arches and go grab yourself one. And in the meantime, remember that ethically sourced food is not for someone else, it’s for everybody. Organic and locally sourced is the way that food should be, even if you’re drunk and stumbling home at three in the morning.
This Christmas, as we have for the past ten years, Greener Greens organised a charitable scheme which got our fantastic produce out to as many families and individuals who would benefit from it as possible. Using our contacts across Sussex & Surrey, we identified organisations who help people in their communities that need that extra bit of support, and came up with bags & boxes of fresh produce that would help these charities and organisations to help them over the festive season. Our team supplied the produce at cost, filled the bags and passed them on to the charities or Childrens’ Centres for distribution. We couldn’t have done it without our customers – it was their donations that made this year such a successful one!
Because of everybody’s hard work and generosity, over 450kg of fruit and veg was sent to Crawley in our family bags – feeding over 200 people. Twelve senior citizen bags went out to those who needed them, and over 115kg of fresh produce was sent to Redhill for the VARB Festive Feast – an event aimed at providing a place to go for people who might not have anywhere else to go on Christmas Day. Our produce fed over 140 people including volunteers at this event. The guests were mostly elderly people who would have otherwise been on their own at Christmas.
We are so, so proud to be able to have helped so many people this Christmas, and are so grateful to our amazing customers who supported this scheme and made it happen for us. Here’s to a wonderful 2018!
Family bags ready to go to the Children’s centre for distribution