For the chocolate lovers out there, imagine an online store that specialises in vegan chocolate and nothing else! Sound good? In that case, you don't want to hear any more from me! Oh and don't forget to look out for the gift at the bottom of the post.
Over to Austin from VeganTown.
What does Vegan Town specialise in selling?
Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! Also, we don't use any artificial ingredients. We are 100% plant based!
Where are you based?
We’re in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Home to the famous Crooked Spire church and nestled at the foot of the Peak District. A great place to live.
Do you exclusively serve those who are local to you or can others who are further away access your products too? If so, how?
Vegan Town ships to customers all over the world. We’ve been surprised at the level of orders from Europe and as far afield as Canada and the United States. There has been a particular interest from Scandinavian countries such as Norway, where apparently the options for vegan chocolate are rather limited. We’re lucky to live in a country that really is at the forefront of dairy free chocolate, with exciting new brands emerging like Moo Free.
[Edit from Heena on 2nd November 2014 - I'm excited to say that I've just received a delilvery! It's a treat box from VeganTown, which is full of vegan goodies! In this video, you'll hear about the kind of things you'll get if you order a treat box.]
What inspired you to create a business that solely focuses on plant-based chocolates?
We’re a family of vegans that love chocolate. There’s not much else to it! We found the idea of making a living from selling cruelty free products was something we wanted to pursue, so we did. Chocolate has a certain prestige to it too, which we found exciting. It’s also rather easy to setup and run a chocolate shop, as the products are so small and easy to store, ship and handle.
How easy is it for you to source cruelty free ingredients for your products?
As mentioned earlier, the UK really is at the forefront of vegan chocolate. There are only a few countries that come close in terms of choice available. So sourcing exciting products to stock in our store isn’t too difficult, with more options becoming available all the time.
Do these ingredients affect the outcome in comparison with non plant-based chocolates?
Vegan chocolate is better for you, the animals and the environment. As we don’t use dairy, that eliminates the plethora of problems associated with that ingredient. It’s linked to diseases such as asthma, heart disease and even cancer. Often, milk is packed full of dreadful hormones and of course milk production contributes to global climate change and of course animal cruelty. The choices on offer today mean that milk chocolate doesn’t even necessarily taste better. It’s possible to produce some fantastic, delicious vegan ‘milk’ chocolate using rice or soya. Rice has the extra bonus of being an incredibly well-balanced food and much less likely to cause allergic reactions than milk.
For someone who hasn't tasted your treats before & is indecisive about what to buy; is there a particularly popular one you can name?
We’d recommend Moo Free’s Bunnycomb Bar. Gorgeous rice-milk chocolate laced in cinder toffee and is a favourite with all ages.
Is Vegan Town owned by, or in partnership with, another company that tests on animals or sell non-vegan products?
No. We’re an independent family business that only buy and sell vegan, cruelty free products.
Tell me a bit about yourself before you launched Vegan Town
I was brought up a vegan, so it’s something that’s always been normal to me. Ever since leaving school I’ve wanted to run my own business and a vegan business was the natural path. And who wouldn’t want to run their own chocolate store?
What is your vision for the future of Vegan Town?
I’d love to take Vegan Town in to more areas of vegan lifestyle. I dream of manufacturing our own brand of treats and even having our own vegan hotel one day. Lots of plans! But for now, we’re concentrating on being the number one choice for vegans needing their choccy fix!
So fancy placing an order?
Visit vegantown.co.uk and get 15% off with the code: PLANTSHIFT