Nine local places to mark World Vegan Day
- Credit: Photo: Courtesy of the Tipsy Veg
Sunday marks World Vegan Day, and the beginning of World Vegan Month, which were both created to celebrate a plant-based lifestyle.
Veganism has risen in popularity in recent years, and today most restaurants offer vegan dishes, while plenty of supermarkets stock meat and dairy-free alternatives.
But here are a handful of Norfolk’s vegan restaurants and shops and reasons to take pride in our place in the movement’s growth.
• Little Shop of Vegans
Having opened in 2016, Little Shop of Vegans on St Benedicts Street now sells more than 500 different products, ranging from dairy-free cheese and meat alternatives to plastic-free household goods and chocolates.
It has built up a strong reputation with vegans in Norfolk, and in 2019 won the best vegan shop award in a ceremony organised by charity Viva!.
• Tipsy Vegan
Just a stone’s throw away on St Benedicts is the Tipsy Vegan, a plant-based restaurant which makes almost everything in-house, from its mayonnaise to its tofu bacon and seitan burgers.
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They say they are vegan to protect animals, not because they don’t enjoy a burger - and instead aim to create dishes that have similar tastes and textures to that of popular non-vegan dishes, including creamy pastas and grilled cheese sandwiches.
• River Green
Since opening in 2011, Trowse’s popular River Green has become a go-to for vegetarians and vegans in Norfolk. In 2015, local chef and former customer Chris Avey joined as head chef and later became the sole director.
While its menus change with the seasons, its dishes include chestnut and leek stuffed mushroom wellington and a baked burrito.
Mr Avey has since created a teaching kitchen to train a future generation of vegan chefs.
• One Planet Pizza
It began the UK’s first plant-based frozen pizza company, and in 2018 it built a plant-based kitchen.
Today, the Hethersett-based business produces more than 500 pizzas a day, and is stocked in shops around Europe, including The Little Shop of Vegans.
• Hungry Cat Café
Opening in The Thoroughfare, in Harleston, in 2018, The Hungry Cat Café sells hot and cold drinks, paninis, toasties, fresh sandwiches and vegan dishes, as well as breakfast options.
They also sell products to take away, including vegan sweets, sausage rolls and vegan spreads.
• Erpingam House
One of two stores (the other is in Brighton), Erpingham House in Tombland is entirely plant-based and largely gluten-free.
Since opening in spring 2018, it has previously been nominated in the best restaurant category of Vegfest UK’s annual awards.
Founder Loui Blake said turning to a vegan diet and mindfulness enabled him to combat his anxiety and self-doubt.
• The Iced Vegan
Based in Mundford, Trudy Copeland creates vegan wedding and celebration cakes for customers across East Anglia.
The Iced Vegan opened in 2018 after a life-long love of baking was passed down through the generations.
Determined to make the dream a career, Mrs Copeland took cake decorating and baking classes and qualifications in sugarcraft.
• Namaste Village
The family-run Namaste is meat-free, serving up authentic vegetarian and vegan Indian dishes.
This year it launched a ‘pizzaterian’ vegetarian pizza menu, all of which can be made vegan, and a similar burger menu, in a bid to encourage customers to sample a meat-free diet.
They have two restaurants - Namaste Village, on Queens Road, and Namaste India, on Opie Street.
It was founded by Steve Lepper and Jenny McCann in 2016, and sells vegan ‘soysages’ and burgers, made using tofu, as well as chocolates, cheese and soft-serve ice cream using soya milk.
The business, which has been exploring a smoked tofu, operates a factory in Lenwade to create its own tofu, and works with larger customers and individual buyers.
Its customers include PONO Superfood Bar, Shiki and Frank’s Bar.