Is shopping as a vegan really that difficult?
Shopping for vegan food items is difficult...
Many people firmly believe that shopping for vegan food items is difficult. I used to agree. It was hard because, vegan alternatives weren't as readily available as they are now, and labelling wasn't clear. However, from 13th December 2014, the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC) has made identifying allergens much easier. Of course, this means that shopping is easier and faster! In addition to this, supermarkets are raising their game in terms of providing vegan food items. So the barriers that existed are being melted away.
You can read my article about vegan shopping in 'regular' supermarkets here.
Things are looking up. Could they get any better?
Imagine going to a shop where EVERYTHING was vegan!!! I went in to a shop like this a few months ago. Guess what it's called? 100% Vegan. What a cool name. But wait....there's more! 'More?' I hear you ask? Yes!
There's a shop called Organic for the People in Ealing. It's on the High Street and it only stocks vegan, organic produce.
In addition to that, there's Vx, which is near Kings Cross station. They sell food items, household goods, clothes and more.
So the options are getting better and vegan shopping is getting easier.
What's 100% Vegan in Birmingham like?
I was a bit like a kid in a sweetshop when I went into 100% Vegan. I didn't know where to look! The shop is quite small but Ray (the owner) has made sure he's used the space well, so that he can provide an absolutely humongous range of products!
I think Mum and I walked around the shop more than 5 times and each time we spotted something that we hadn't seen before! Our shopping basket good quite full, but I didn't feel guilty or over indulgent, because I don't live close enough to visit and benefit from this huge range often. I also love supporting vegan businesses.
You can see some of the range below. Ray stocks vegan pet food, cake mixes, coconut products, alternative milks, a range of creams, many bars of chocolate, freshly made cakes, and savoury foods and more.
So if you're lucky enough to be close to Birmingham, and you haven't visited 100% Vegan yet, do pop in.
Ray runs the shop and he's lovely. He is calm, gentle, knowledgeable, not pushy in any way at all and just, lovely to talk to. We spent a little while chatting to him and that made the experience even better!
We were staying in a hotel that night, so we bought some pasties and pies from 100% Vegan and enjoyed them for breakfast!
Going for a meal after shopping in 100% Vegan
If you have time and fancy a bite, I'd highly recommend that eat at The Warehouse Cafe in Birmingham. It's best to book, but if you haven't, I wouldn't suggest that you don't bother trying. We had dinner there and loved it! There's loads of vegan options and the service is just impeccable! I've written a review about our experience here.