I learnt to bake vegan cupcakes in around 2010. I had been vegetarian for a little while, and was interested in trying a vegan diet but had a slight addiction to Hummingbird Cupcakes...! In London 2010, there were a handful of vegan businesses spread across the City, but you really had to look far & wide for them and relied mainly on recommendations from other vegans on internet forums. You couldn't pop to Sainsbury's for some vegan pizza!
Fast forwards a few years, and I had started my business selling wholesale vegan loaf cakes to coffee shops. Even 2 years ago they were sceptical that vegan cakes would sell at all, and have ended up being their best selling cakes! Now, in 2019, you can find vegan meals, snacks, cakes readily available on every High Street. It's easier than ever to find a vegan sausage roll,"chicken" burger, or celebration cake. I highly recommend following @accidentallyveganuk on instagram for updates on new vegan products available in the UK.
So, we know that the market for vegan foods is growing more rapidly than ever, but how will this affect the small businesses that have been making specialist products for many years? A lot of these businesses will never be able to compete with Greggs on the price of a mass produced sausage roll, and may struggle to stay afloat.
I would love to offer a 100% vegan menu, but I have never been able to sustain my business selling only vegan cakes. I only use high quality ingredients: Organic flour, organic soya milk, oatly milk, belgian chocolate, and gorgeous fruits from Natoora. You won't find this with most mass-produced cakes, and will definitely be consuming a lesser quality product, but obviously for me to be able to compete with this I would have to throw most of my business values out of the window.
I'm really excited to see how 2019 develops, and if there will be an increase in orders for Vegan Celebration Cakes and even Wedding Cake orders.
If you are vegan, or not vegan, please make sure that you support any independent businesses local to you. Every time an order is placed with them, you are one step further away from another estate agents office, or convenience supermarket opening in your neighbourhood.
Cat Food x