“If you still don’t know that Hareburger is the best burger in the entire galaxy, then you must live alone on an asteroid somewhere in the Ursa Minor constellation.” That or you’ve never set foot on Ipanema beach, but those are the well-considered, unbiased words of Raphael, the most far-out food vendor on the sands around Posto 9, or perhaps even the universe.
Having discovered, back in 2006, how many psychedelic tomatoes were needed to make a recipe for success, he has gone on to conquer an area of Ipanema for himself with the opening of his first Hareburger restaurant in Arpoador, only a few blocks from his original stomping ground on the beach. “The idea already existed but it was only through my cosmic existence that it materialised," he says in his own, unique way. "I received the recipe by aligning myself with the universe."
His meteoric rise all began with the help of his grandmother, who lent him R$50 so he could make vegetarian sandwiches. With 600 sarnies sold by the end of the week, it quickly became clear that Hareburger was more than just a quick fix to earn money for his summer in Bahia; the idea was, naturally, a blessing from the Cosmos itself.“ After a coming together of magic stars, Hareburger tore through the stratosphere and shot into my wildest dreams like a comet. Every day our production had to increase to satisfy the ever-growing demand and I eventually made enough to go travelling with my Hare Girl.
"When I came back from the northeast of Brazil, I decided to continue with what had accidentally become my full-time profession. With practice I came up with some great ideas for marketing and advertising. I learnt from simple necessity, I had no other choice,” Raphael explains, more coherently.
At first, the old guard of beach-hawkers didn't know quite what to think of this young, conspicuous upstart. But with his psychedelic charm, his trusty little flute always in hand and his culinary talent, Hareburger soon conquered the hearts and stomachs of his customers and consequently his reputation spread via word of mouth. He has become one of the most familiar faces on Ipanema, offering irresistible snacks for those lazy afternoons at the beach. “It’s really cool having my office on the beach. I can even go for a little dip, enjoy the natural beauty right up close, feel the energy of the sunsets and chat with my customers who, over the course of time, have become great friends."
Ever the visionary, Raphael always dreamed of launching the universe’s very first vegetarian fast-food restaurant. He followed countless entrepreneurial courses, drew up his own “Hare business plan” and even studied marketing to attract high-flying investors to believe in his idea. Sure enough, the fast food outlet is now in full swing but young Raphael’s journey does not stop here.
Hare, as he is affectionately known by his customers, lets us in on what he has got in store for the future: “I’m not going to just continue selling my burgers on the beach but I intend to expand towards Leblon, Barra, to infinity and beyond. We’ve got a few things new to our menu, such as our Double Hare Hare with a secret volcanic sauce from Mars, the Hare Rock Shutney Mangos Fly with mango chutney and other new and unseen stuff which are on their way of which I shall not talk about!”
I think you've said it all, Hare, let's eat.
Hareburger can be found at Galeria River, Rua Francisco Otaviano 67 no.36, Arpoador