Very Good Falafel
First housemates, then entrepreneurs, Shuki Rosenboim and Louisa Allan have built a cult following for Middle Eastern street food in the heart of Brunswick. Now in its third year, Very Good Falafel has been ranked by Broadsheet as one of Melbourne’s best falafel shops.
|Business type||Eat in and take away restaurant|
|In Moreland since||2016|
Middle Eastern street food
Brunswick locals Shuki and Louisa spent several years building a loyal following for their dips and falafel at Melbourne’s inner-city farmers’ markets before opening the doors to Very Good Falafel on bustling Sydney Road in 2016.
“We lived together in a shared house in Brunswick and both enjoyed cooking, so we started a market stall, selling hummus and other dips,” Louisa recalls.
As demand grew, the pair felt ready to expand and added falafel to their offering. The authentic Israeli style falafel quickly became their best-seller so, with a strong customer base behind them, Shuki and Louisa took the leap and Very Good Falafel found a permanent home in Brunswick.
Inspired by their favourite Middle Eastern street foods, Shuki and Louisa take a simple, honest approach to the menu, with six meal options available. They keep Very Good Falafel’s offering fresh by changing the salads daily and using seasonal ingredients wherever possible.
Very Good Falafel has been busy right from the start. The shop seats 20 and features an open, family-style kitchen and warm atmosphere. Shuki says the location provides a steady stream of locals looking for a quick meal.
“Being on Sydney Road, we gave great visibility and word of mouth. We’re not that into social media, and focus on every day, real-life interactions to grow the business.” says Shuki.
The rapid success of Very Good Falafel has been one of Shuki and Louisa’s biggest achievements to date. While they no longer share shifts in the kitchen, they continue to make all decisions together and contribute equally to cooking and administration.
It isn’t always easy and they are open about the difficulties of running a small business. Building the team and navigating the hiring process as they find the right staff has been one such challenge.
“Being in a partnership we have each other to bounce ideas around with. Whether it’s hiring staff or making important decisions, it makes the challenges a lot easier to deal with,” says Louisa.
The pair have come a long way since those early days making dips in a local community kitchen, and say they plan to keep doing what they’re doing for a long time to come.
Images courtesy of Very Good Falafel