We speak with Charlotte and Frank, owners of Huns; Leicester’s first vegan fried chick’hun shop.
Originally from Leicester, Charlotte and Frank had never worked in the food industry prior to opening Huns.
“We came from completely different backgrounds, but we both share an unignorable passion for food.”
“I (Frank) studied graphic design at UAL Camberwell in London and Charlotte studied Criminology at Nottingham Trent.”
Charlotte and Frank then lived in London for a year after graduating, with Frank working as a graphic designer and Charlotte as a resettlement caseworker at HMP Thameside.
“We always had a huge passion for food, regularly cooking and trying new dishes at home.”
Living in London for a year really opened both Charlotte and Frank’s eyes to the possibilities of what vegan food could be.
“We would often travel back home to Leicester and struggle to find decent vegan options.”
Veganism is a very important part of not only Charlotte and Frank’s business, but also to them as individuals; it is one of the few things in their lives that they will not compromise on.
This, along with their passion for food, were the driving forces behind launching Huns.
Huns specialises in vegan fried chick’hun, which is handmade in store. Their best sellers are usually the monthly special burger or loaded fries.
“We first set up in November 2018 where we attended street food markets, festivals and did limited takeaway delivery nights.”Frank and Charlotte
Then in March this year, lockdown forced Frank and Charlotte to evolve and change their business model.
“It’s been a huge shift for us as a business from events and festivals to opening our very own shop!” This year, the plan for Huns was never to open a shop as they were fully booked up with events and festivals over the summer, however the current climate has forced them to adapt.”
“It’s a completely different operation but we’re really enjoying it.”
The pair feel very fortunate to have stumbled upon such a perfect location for their first shop, having not really had to look around.
“We drove by the property by chance and saw it was available and we knew instantly that it was a fab opportunity that we had to go for!”
“Within two months of first seeing the shop, we were open!”
Charlotte and Frank designed and built the shop themselves with the help of Frank’s dad John, who was a massive help.
“We both have very similar taste so luckily there weren’t too many disagreements!”
So far, Huns has been massively successful, gaining a loyal following across Leicester and beyond.
“We are forever grateful for the continuous support from all of our lovely customers.”
Working in the food industry, Charlotte and Frank get to meet so many people on a daily basis.
“The rush that you get in the kitchen on a busy night is something that never gets old, it’s such a fast paced and often hectic environment, but it’s one that we love.”
”We also get to meet so many new and different people each and every day, from customers to our lovely Uber drivers!”
Previously, when they were attending street food events and markets, they were able to visit some of the most beautiful places and buildings in the UK, as well as try some amazing food.
“We have gained followers from all over the world!”
Charlotte and Frank have built and continue to build a very strong social media following, with their audience loving photos of their incredible food.
“We gained a lot of followers from across the UK when we did the vegan markets and street food events, but a large percentage of our followers are Leicester based.”
Originally, the Huns Instagram account was launched in the summer of 2017 as a platform to share photos of vegan food and gain inspiration for their own recipes.
“We used it very sporadically over the next year but then in September 2018 we decided to turn it into our Huns business account.”
Both Charlotte and Frank are excited to see what is next for them and shop.
“The future looks bright! We have been blown away by the support we have had over the past two months and we are going from strength to strength.”
“However, in the current climate we are taking it slowly, COVID has definitely taught us to be adaptable, flexible and bold.”
When speaking about the area of Leicester, Charlotte and Frank feel very fortunate to live in such a welcoming and supportive city.
“We feel it’s very representative of Leicester as a whole, with all walks of life living alongside one another.”
We also asked both Charlotte and Frank to mention some of their favourite local, independent businesses: