Owners of a Los Angeles vegan burger restaurant are devastated after thieves escape with thousands of dollars worth of restaurant equipment.
Jeremy and Gregory Pearson, the owners of Slides ‘N Fries, said they were inspired to open a plant-based restaurant after seeing their loved ones continually struggle with health issues due to poor diets.
The brothers poured their life savings into the business they created in hopes of offering something healthy to their community.
“We just wanted to bring some healthy eating options to the community,” Jeremy explained. “Something that was tasteful and loving.”
“We live in the hood, but at the same time, we want to uplift the hood,” Gregory said.
Together, they created Slides ‘N Fries, a 100% handmade vegan burger business.
“All plant-based, all the cheese is plant-based, all the patties are made in-house,” Jeremy said.
They take their pop-up restaurant to flea markets, festivals, events and neighborhoods that don’t often have healthy food options. Although working long nights behind the grill can be stressful, the brothers said their mission is not just business, it’s personal.
“Both our grandparents passed from Type 2 diabetes,” Jeremy said.
“There are food deserts all around,” Gregory said. “We just want people to start focusing on eating plants and fruits and veggies. It’s going to change your life. Our mother, she actually beat diabetes by switching to a plant-based diet.”
“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food,” Jeremy said.
After spending two years getting their business up and running, one Saturday night, things took a turn for the worse.
On July 29, after working all day at a pop-up location in South L.A., they returned home to their Rampart Village neighborhood late at night
Normally, they would unload their equipment into a secured storage space but the facility was closed after hours so they parked outside. When they woke up the next morning, the U-Haul truck carrying all their gear and equipment was gone.
Surveillance footage captured the thieves driving away with the truck as another SUV followed closely behind.
“Just to get everything taken away is heartbreaking,” Gregory said. “It’s heartbreaking.”
“I get emotional, man,” Jeremy said. “But we are thankful to you guys at KTLA and the community and people spreading awareness. God willing, we’ll be able to get back on our feet. We have the utmost faith that this won’t set us back, but launch us forward”
A GoFundMe campaign was created to help the brothers relaunch their business.
“We love our community and sharing all this veganism with everybody and letting people know that you can eat plant-based food and it’s good,” Gregory said.
The brothers have filed a police report but said authorities told them getting their equipment back will be unlikely. They’re hoping the community they’ve served for years can help them purchase new equipment and get their restaurant up and running again.