For our Ask the Organiser post this week, we spoke to Rowena Humphreys, Vegan Chef and organiser of V-Curious Supper Clubs, a supper club specialising in vegan cuisine.
1. How long have you been running supper clubs and what do they involve?
Since October 2014 and they involve five delicious deliciously, decadent vegan courses. I see this as an opportunity to share great food, for guests to meet new people and for people to go beyond the usual “go out for dinner” routine.
2. How many supper club events did you run in 2014, and are you planning to grow the numbers in 2015?
I ran 5 in 2014 and I’m currently running 1 to 2 a month in 2015. In terms of growth my next venture I’m collaborating with Sarah Hunt Yoga to bring London the Spring City Retreat. In July I’ll be collaborating with a Jazz, Funk Soul Band to collaborate in a pop up event at Maida Hill Place – a great place for food start-ups to test concepts
3. Supper clubs seem to be growing in popularity – how do you stand out from the crowd? What do you think is the key to your success?
I focus purely on decadently, delicious vegan food – up until now I don’t think there’s been much of that available in London. As the name “V-Curious” suggests many people really are simply curious about vegan food – I provide an opportunity to try it in a cool setting. You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to be “V-Curious”, in fact many of my guests are self-confessed carnivores!
When people think “vegan” they think boring, bland, tasteless and dry nut roasts often spring to mind – I’m here to change the face of vegan food and I do this passionately through my supper clubs.
4. What were the biggest obstacles you faced in running your supper clubs in 2014 and what did you learn from them?
Understanding who my clients are was the biggest obstacle. By using Survey Monkey and simply talking to my customers I now have a much clearer picture of who my typical guest is.
Getting the paper work sorted for my supper club also took a little time – I took a food hygiene course and I’ve been inspected by the council and can proudly show that I have a 5 star rating.
5. One of the questions we get at Eventbrite the most is how to promote your event and reach a bigger audience. How do you reach your customers? Any tips you’d suggest for reaching a bigger audience?
Most of my promotion is via Facebook adverts with direct links to Eventbrite booking. I also ask my customers to spread the word once they leave and as a result of my lovely guests their friends come, or they simply come back which is great.
6. What is your favourite Eventbrite feature and why?
Can I select two features instead? Being able to add questions to the booking form is great because it allows me to find out how they discovered V-Curious Supper Club. I also love the new option of being able to move people from one event to another because this makes me more flexible as a host.
7. What was your favourite moment from your 2014 events?
One lovely guest came and the following day booked herself on to the next three supper clubs – that was a wonderful moment, a huge endorsement and of course a great boost for my ego!
8. Any other advice to organisers running supper clubs or dining events in general?
Test the menu as much as possible – if you have a good product people will come back.
9. Where can people go to learn more about V-Curious Supper Clubs in 2015?
First and foremost come try the Supper Club itself – find out more and book your ticket via Eventbrite. Secondly follow our Facebook page here www.facebook.com/vcurioussupperclub – we’re always releasing new dates and normally sell out around 2 months in advance.