Manjula: From the beginning
Learn more about what we do
Est in 2015 we have been trading for 5 years, and here's our story so far!
During the Mongol rally, a drive from London to Mongolia, whilst on board a cargo ferry stuck in the Caspian Sea. The word Manjula was first heard, not the usual birthplace for a company, but its where we started. Everyday we'd hear Manjula bellowing through the crew quarters, confined and hungry we always answered. The food may have been somewhat undesirable but the word Manjula was not, and it has stuck ever since. This was way back in 2013 and since then Manjula has gone from an uttered word to food from all over the world. This trip gave the creator (Brad) the idea and the confidence to start his own business. Nothing quite says you can do whatever you want in life than driving a car with a slipping clutch for 5000 miles. However, with a little bit more of his degree to finish and another trip to South America in the pipeline, Manjula would have to wait. At the age of 22, graduated and traveled, we were ready to take a stab at street food.
This boat was simply the start and you can see it below. Since then things have really moved for the better, starting off as a vegetarian caterer, we traveled the country with our little blue horsebox, somewhat naive and inexperienced in street food. Our first year can only be described as an education. We worked small events, steam rallies and country fayres which brought us to one conclusion, veggies don't go to these events. Change was needed and there was only one thing for it, to use our lessons and to go Vegan. We haven't looked back since.
Our second year was, if anything, was more of an education, we had moved on to bigger, but not necessarily better, things. We made our first leap into the festival world, ramping up our set up and capacity. This was another lesson though as we learnt the hard way that although there may be lots of people going to something, it doesn't necessarily mean that they want to eat. It was a good year still though, apart from one of our biggest festivals being so muddy it was cancelled on the last day. But we won't dwell on that. 2017 was our first year of festivals, some major like Parklife and some fairly small like ArcTanGent. This was where we found our nieche, small grassroots festivals, with audiences who are aware of the work and effort that we put into our food. 2017 was a year of some amazing highs and some real muddy lows. We did however persevere into 2018, a year that finally made all the hard work pay off.
In 2018 we took the approach of only taking small events that we had vetted ourselves to make sure the market was right and the organisers were honest. Thankfully we achieved that as we are now lucky enough to be working at some of the most exciting small festivals in the country. El Dorado, 2000 trees, ArcTanGent, Barn on the Farm just to name a few. We also added our second trailer to the mixer, a trailer built by Brads Grandad some 40 years ago. The conversion was spurred on by the unfortunate death of the legendary John West (of no tuna relation). His determination and eye for detail made the conversion very personal with so many people helping to get it done on time. With 2 trailer in the fleet we can now double book over the summer, a real game changer.
In 2019 we mainly stuck to what we knew best, music festivals, again working smarter and not faster. This was a good year to establish ourselves running 2 festivals in a weekend whilst also making our first break into Europe at We Love Green Festival.