UTOPIA: The Refugee Entrepreneur Turning her Street Food Dream into A Tasty Reality

By McCain FS

- Last updated on GMT

UTOPIA: The Refugee Entrepreneur Turning her Street Food Dream into A Tasty Reality through McCain’s Streets Ahead Programme

Related tags Streets Ahead KERB Mccain foodservice Street food

Hind Danoun is one of the many successful refugee entrepreneurs to come out of McCain’s Streets Ahead Programme.

Hind Danoun is the refugee founder of London street food business UTOPIA, a Syrian inspired street food concept that offers a lunchtime menu on three KERB markets and dinner menu every Friday at Bonnington Cafe. Her street food menu consists of three wraps: the sujuk (lamb); mosakhan (chicken); and maklie (fried vegatables), as well as a range of sides.

From joining the McCain’s Streets Ahead Programme in 2022, Utopia has turned over more than £21,000 in revenue since launching late 2023. 


Hind, with encouragement from her Syrian community within London set herself a goal to bring the much-missed flavours of the middle east to the capital and make her own success in the UK. She recently explained: “There’s not lot’s of Syrian food here, and food for us makes us feel like we belong.”

By June 2023, Hind, via Streets Ahead, had shaped her skillset for success by successfully completing the newly accredited Streets Ahead Classroom course and one-to-one training with the help of KERB’s head of coaching, Lisa Donahue, and head of food, Charlie Casey.

Over the following months, Hind prepared a business pitch for UTOPIA and presented her hero dish, the sujuk wrap, which comprised of spiced lamb with garlic sauce and pickles within a traditional flatbread. On the side, a fattoush salad of homemade hummus and pomegranate molasses - a winning combination for the panel. Once tasted by McCain and KERB representatives, McCain confidently invested £10,000 to help get UTOPIA off the ground.


Hind invested this funding into the catering equipment she needed to get started, as well as a 3x3 gazebo and accounting support to ensure the best route to success. “I had no idea about business, I was planning to open, but didn’t know how. Streets Ahead just gave me all the details to start, what certificates to get, what documents I needed”, says Hind about her journey on the McCain Streets Ahead Programme. She was recently interviewed at her Cowcross Yards location in London, and you can watch the full interview​ here​ to hear about her journey to street food success.  

Hind is dreaming big for UTOPIA, and recently said: “I want to see Utopia through London, I’m already looking for a small shop to own.” With plans for a future restaurant and already curating a following of loyal customers, make sure you check out UTOPIA Syrian street food soon. You can follow Hind’s journey on her socials @_utopia_food_​ or McCain’s @mccainfoodserviceuk​, where you can find out more about all 19 businesses that have now received start up investment through the Streets Ahead Programme.  

As of September 2023, you can now find UTOPIA trading within three KERB markets; Cowcross Yards, The Gherkin and Fleet Place weekly. You can also find her on Fridays at Bonnington Café serving up new menus.

The McCain FS Streets Ahead programme​, supported by the KERB+​ social enterprise aims to support the foodservice industry by creating an immersive programme that looks to upskill and create opportunity for less-advantaged individuals keen to break into the sector. Together, over the past 18 months they have nurtured the skills and street food business ideas of over 200 participants and McCain has invested over £146,000 into independent businesses, so far.  

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