Founder Spotlight: Andrea Kerzner (Lekka Burger)
Meet Andrea KerznerCompany:Lekka BurgerLekka Burger is a plant-powered fast-casual restaurant in lower Manhattan, specializing in burgers made by Amanda…
Meet Andrea Kerzner
Lekka Burger is a plant-powered fast-casual restaurant in lower Manhattan, specializing in burgers made by Amanda Cohen, an award-winning vegetable-focused chef. I founded Lekka because of my commitment to fighting climate change and brought on Amanda because of her in-depth knowledge of making delicious, plant-based food. Lekka burgers are chef-made daily in our kitchen, not in a lab, and feature whole ingredients (no soy, gluten, or dairy, either!). They're better for you AND better for the planet. And most importantly, they taste great! In case you’re curious: Lekka means “delicious” or “awesome” in Afrikaans. I was born and raised in South Africa and wanted to imbue the brand with parts of my culture that are meaningful to me.
Bootstrapped for the restaurant in lower Manhattan. As we scale up we will be looking for strategic private equity partnerships for seed money.
New York City, NY, USA
What led you to where you are today?
I am a social entrepreneur. For the past 12 years, I have worked towards poverty alleviation by starting a successful non-profit called Lalela Project. A few years ago, my focus shifted towards fighting climate change. Being a vegan myself and having grown up in the hospitality industry, I felt that the best way to do this was to start a fast-casual chain of plant-based burger restaurants. This led me to Amanda Cohen, the top vegetable-focused chef in NYC, who agreed to partner with me. Our burgers are not only good for the planet, but they are also good for you because they are not processed and utilize natural ingredients.
What do you wish you knew before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey?
The restaurant industry is challenging and constantly evolving. Especially now amidst this pandemic, it has been incredibly hard to maintain a steady business. It would have been impossible to know this would happen when I set out to start Lekka. But it also empowers my decision now, more than ever, as we all need comforting and healthy sustenance, and we all need to help protect the planet.
What can you help the VEGPRENEUR community with?
We'd love to hear about what others are doing in the vegan food space, and possibly collaborate or find a way to support one another.
How can the VEGPRENEUR community help you?
Spread the word about Lekka's recent launch on Goldbelly! We are so excited to be able to ship our plant-powered burgers nationwide, and hopefully reach a much wider audience.Connect With Andrea Apply To Get Featured on Founder Spotlight Join the VEGPRENEUR Facebook Group
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