Manchester has a lot of things going for it. From the innumerable musical acts that have risen from the streets to its rich industrial history, Manchester is a place like no other in the north of England that keeps me coming back for more.
Undoubtedly one of the most intriguing attractions in the city for compassionate visitors is the 100% vegan grocery store known as Unicorn. Yes, that is correct. Every single item for sale in this owner-operated co-operative is cruelty-free. Fresh fruit and vegetables line the entrance while wine, cider and beer jostle for space along the shelves. Bulk goods sit beside household cleaning products and a huge deli case brims with tasty treats. Wanna see what I bought?
Give a fat, gay vegan a basket in a store like Unicorn Grocery and you will see some serious shopping take place. During my visit I nabbed crisps, bread, seitan, tofu salad spreads, pastries, ice cream, organic soda, marinated tempeh, sushi, crackers and more. If my stay in Manchester were any more significant, this list would have been a lot longer.
Unicorn is a fascinating concept that has proven its ability to be more than just financially successful throughout its 15 year history. The co-op adheres to strict policies that control what goes on the shelves, how the business is run and the number of people employed at any time. Fruits and vegetables sold in the store are often sourced from local growers within a 30 mile radius of Unicorn. The co-op has reinvested income from the store into buying local farmland which is used to grow food to sell. This is a seriously impressive business model that is ethical on many levels. It is worker and non-human animal friendly with a serious agenda concerned with protecting the environment.
There are many compelling reasons to visit the marvelous city of Manchester. Unicorn Grocery really should be sitting near the top of that list. It is inspirational.
89 Albany Rd
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