Vegan café finally opens in new home after lockdown delays move
- Credit: Archant
A vegan café has finally been able to open in its new home after its move was delayed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tofurei had been due to relocate from Pottergate to St Gregory’s Alley in May, which fell at the height of the lockdown.
But they celebrated their first day back open on Friday, with customers able to queue up and order from the counter, before taking their food away.
Tables and chairs have been removed from the downstairs area to allow for a socially distanced queue, with plans to add a seating area upstairs in the works.
Steve Lepper, who co-founded the vegan shop and café with Jenny McCann, said it had been a long journey.
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“We knew it needed a lot of work, but it was only when it started we realised how much and it ended up being a total rebuild inside,” he said.
“We should have had a smooth transition, but it’s about three months after it should have been done.”
MORE: Tofu café closes doors for good – but is set to reopen around the cornerHe said, on the whole, the business would still look the same for its regular customers, but that they would have the space to work on new dishes and ideas.
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Mr Lepper said they had been busy during lockdown, with orders coming in online.
“We were doing three to four times as many [tofu sales], and the furthest order we saw was to a French restaurant in Swansea,” he said. “It’s great so many people are discovering tofu.
“But it doesn’t add up the revenue we would have had from the shop. Probably at the busiest we were doing less than half of that. It’s had a big impact.”
He said their innovations during lockdown included a new smoked tofu, egg-less custard and new compostable, plastic-free vacuum packaging.
The business first opened in 2016, and became known for its ‘soysages’ and burgers, made from tofu, and soft-serve icream from soya milk. It has a factory in Lenwade.
Tofurei, at 10 St Gregory’s Alley, will be open on Saturday, August 8, Friday and Saturday next week and may extend to further days after then when its kitchen is up and running.