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News / City Life

Quit your job, become a... street food seller

Andy Parsons

 

Evi Peroulaki 38, market stall owner and co-founder of Souvlaki Street

What the hell is souvlaki?

‘It’s a Greek wrap. We use Greek pita, tzatziki, salad and either pork, chicken or halloumi.’

Why set up a street food stall?

‘Pure greed! Both Conor (my partner) and I love souvlaki, but we couldn’t find good souvlaki in London. So we turned up at our local market in Clapton one day with a disposable barbecue from Sainsbury’s to see how it went. We brought enough to make 20 wraps and they all went within an hour.’

Can anyone turn up and do it?

‘No, we had an audition with the guy who runs the market. It was a bit like “MasterChef”. After that, we started turning up every other Sunday and it got really popular.’

What's an average day for you now?

‘Early morning starts to get to the market by 8am. If I can get up at 6.30am, it’s a lie-in! Then we set up and start serving. I don’t get to sit down again until 9pm. By 10pm, I’m dead.’

How do you fit in a social life?

‘What’s a social life? We don’t have any friends any more! It’s very hard, especially in the summer because we do so many festivals. It’s like having a child: it takes every single moment of spare time you have.’

It sounds awful...

‘It’s our baby! The fact that it’s ours and we can take it in any direction we want is definitely the best thing about it. No matter how tiring it is or how much it sucks the life out of you, it’s your thing. We watch it grow every day and it makes us proud.’

Do you ever get stroppy customers?

‘Oh, it happens, believe me! I’m Greek and I’m not very good with them. We have a lot of people ask for chilli and I say: “This is Greek food, we don’t use chilli, it’s not a kebab!” If I’m in a good mood I can laugh, but I can get defensive of my food because I know how it’s supposed to be eaten. I’m not very diplomatic!’

Hours: 60-70 hrs p/w

Salary £70/day

Qualifications: not necessary

Or why not become a dog photographer?

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