Keeping it in the family - Jansen and Deb on running a vegan cafe and sharing their car

Keeping it in the family - Jansen and Deb on running a vegan cafe and sharing their car

Deb and Jansen are a mother-and-son duo who own and run the popular Vegan Shack in Richmond, Melbourne. You'll be able to catch them there most days with a smile on their face as they serve up delicious vegan food and drinks.

Originally they started their successful vegan business in a pop up van, but decided to make it a permanent spot after getting numerous requests from their customers to stay in one place.

With a Instagram filled with delicious looking food, it's not hard to see why Deb and Jan have a loyal following. "We have little moments – when lunch comes it's pretty busy and weekends are pretty crazy, very constant," said Deb.

Why Jansen decided to rent out his car

Jansen started renting out his Volkswagon Tiguan on Car Next Door earlier this year after hearing about the platform from his sister.

"My sister also rents out her car on Car Next Door, she's based in Northcote and has a little Mazda. She started renting out her car before me and suggested that I should start renting mine out."

"I found I wasn't using my car that often. I like having a car, but decided it made sense to share it instead of just having it sitting around doing nothing while I was at work.

"I've been enjoying being a part of the Car Next Door community so far. It's been nice getting to meet some of the borrowers as well. Since my car is parked close to my work, I can easily pop out and say hello. We're at the cafe a lot working, so it's more often than not you'll see us there!"


You'll find Jan behind the counter with a big smile on his face

"I like to leave little snacks in the car for borrowers, just to make their trip a bit more special," Jansen says.

"Normally I park the car outside the restaurant so if I forget to put a snack or something in the car because I've been busy working I'll go and say hello, say enjoy."

"Recently I had a new borrower using my car. She couldn't work it out as it was her first time borrowing so I went out and helped her. I think at first she was wondering 'who's this guy?' and I said 'ah, actually this is my car'. She was really surprised but was happy and it was really nice."

"It's just caring, being a part of the community. When you think about it, we're not just representing our car but also the platform as a whole so we want people to have a good experience."

Car Next Door isn't your typical car sharing platform. It's made up of your neighbours, small business owners like Deb and Jan, and all sorts of people in our communities!

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