Honest Burgers & Karma Cola's Big Adventures
When Honest Burgers founders, Phil and Tom, found out about the karma in Karma Cola it got them thinking, ‘if they’re Karma and we’re Honest maybe we should get together.’
So we did.
They loved the taste of Karma Cola and that every bottle sold gave straight back to the cola farmers in Sierra Leone. So much so that they created the Karma Cola special which raised nearly £10,000 for these farmers and their families in 2015. Naturally they wanted to see what all that good karma could do in West Africa, so last October we went to a village called Boma in the Gola Rainforest of Sierra Leone so they could see for themselves.
Rather than turn up for a sightseeing tour, we decided to show our friends in Boma what these Londoners were capable of. We were going to flip burgers in the jungle.
How hard could it be?
Armed with knives, rosemary salt and pickles, we took off from Peckham to Boma via Paris, Casablanca, Freetown and Bo, the closest town with electricity, prep kitchen and a baker. Luckily we had local sous chefs, Mamie and Technok on hand, who showed us how to tenderise patties Sierra Leone-style, fillet scrawny chicken and peel cassava for the perfect jungle burger accompaniment: rosemary salted cassava chips.
We got up early the next day and tied everything we needed to open a burger restaurant in the jungle on top of a truck, ready to feed 150 hungry villagers. The first sign that we’d underestimated our catering was seeing hundreds of people travelling in the same direction we were. Drumming, dancing and laughing. 700 people turned up.
Tom and Phil had smoke coming up at them, tropical sun bearing down, bugs to the left of them and a stadium of spectators, mostly women, taunting like football hooligans, to their right. Women traditionally cook in Boma so the lads were unsuspecting entertainment.
Phil, The Lord of the Fries, had his hands blackened by the cauldron of oil for the cassava chips. The crowd went wild when he wiped soot on his face like warpaint.
Eventually, after the last of the burgers, chips and Karma Cola, Phil and Tom were knackered and grinning. The first international Honest Burgers restaurant had given the villagers a taste of London, and our own special brand of karma was a big hit.
Over the next few days we showed Phil and Tom the good work the Karma Cola Foundation’s doing to support the people of Boma and the Tiwai community.
And sample the local produce.
Here's a little film of our adventure.