Non-vegan café switching to vegan
I simply ADORE sharing news about non-vegan food places switching to plant-based offerings.
Slowly but surely, small victories for animals are turning the world just that little bit more vegan… and victories rarely come more uniquely planned out than what is going down at The Fields Beneath.
The Fields Beneath is a much-loved coffee shop and café situated at Kentish Town West station in North London.
Owner Gavin gave me some VERY interesting insights into how he is easing his loyal customers into veganism. I absolutely love his plans for 30 plant-based coffees for £30.
Let me step aside and give Gavin some more space to explain:
At The Fields Beneath, we’ve been open a little over four years and started transitioning to a vegan menu in December, cutting out meat first. The exciting opportunity we’ve got with the shop is that a vast majority of the customers are not vegan. They don’t get it in the way I feel only vegans do; I certainly didn’t myself until about this time last year, and the cafe has the chance to introduce customers to many parts of the vegan journey.
We started the conversation two weeks ago by offering a program where a customer can get 30 coffees for £30, the catch being no dairy! As of yesterday we’ve signed up 100 people. ‘What’s wrong with dairy?’ comes up a lot but the aim is to cut out dairy completely by the end of April.
As for the food, we’ve aimed so far to replace things with their vegan counterparts; our cakes, our croissants and sandwich ingredients. The hot dishes have been vegan for over a year.
From February we’ll be pushing the possibilities with food, choosing not just plant based menus, but leaning on as much seasonality as we can. On top of the team we’ve got, led by Helena Vieira, we’re building one for the future and have welcomed back old friend Avneet Padda after two years away working for the likes of Silo in Brighton and Cafe Oto in Dalston. She’s bringing a wealth of experience with baking, fermenting, pickling, seasonal produce and so on. So we’re very much at a ‘watch this space’ point.
We roast the coffee ourselves at Tate Britain, and have plans to make our own oat milk so that a) our costs don’t go up by moving from dairy to Oatly, and b) to make sure people don’t need to spend more money to be vegan.
What a well-thought out and inventive way to ease people into accepting vegan café choices as an everyday occurrence.
I can’t wait until my London return when The Fields Beneath will be 100% vegan. Who wants to meet me for a croissant?!
Extra note: The Fields Beneath is a London Living Wage Employer. Fuck yeah!
Extra extra note: The Fields Beneath are running a hot water bottle drive. If you have a hot water bottle that is spare, drop it off with the café. If you are currently on the streets, you can drop in to collect a hot water bottle that has been recently filled. You are also welcome to return for hot water refills when needed.