Try an indulgent vegan alternative at Blondes

Published: Wednesday 1st November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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To celebrate World Vegan Day we had a chat with Blondes, which serves indulgent vegan treats and eats.

Established in 2003, Blondes is located on King Street in Cottingham and offers a wide variety of mouth-watering meals, hot and cold drinks, ice creams, cakes, brownies and goodies.

We caught up with the cafe’s owner, Willow Boyle, to find out more about their vegan offering.

Can you tell us a little bit more about Blondes?

We try to provide great tasting food and a friendly atmosphere for all of our customers, and it all just happens to be vegan.

We don’t actually push the fact that we are vegan. We’re not about converting people, but rather educating, raising awareness and offering delicious and fabulous alternatives to animal products.

80% of our customers are not actually vegan. Many of them just come because they love the place; they love the service and love the food. Many of them don’t even realise that what they are eating is vegan, which is what we aim to provide.

So what sort of things are on the menu?

We do all sorts. We want to offer people indulgent vegan alternatives, such as mac and cheese, mushroom stroganoff, curries, chillies and burgers.

And then we have our desserts. We do muffins, ice cream, cheesecakes, freakshakes – almost anything you can think of.

We also have daily specials. Today, I’ve got a club sandwich, which is a vegan-alternative BLT on one side and a turkey and cheese melt on the other.

Our vegan fish and chip days are particularly popular – one guy cycled from Sheffield to sample the dish.

My mum is the magician behind it all; she comes up with all the recipes and bakes everything. She works very hard to stay ahead of the game and come up with new ideas.

Why do you think it’s important to try vegan food?

I think there are so many vegan alternatives out there that it makes no sense to use an ingredient that has caused suffering.

If you can make that choice to buy something that hasn’t meant suffering to an animal and it tastes just as good as the product that has caused suffering, then why not choose the vegan option?

Some of our gifts in store are also cruelty-free. For me, veganism is a lifestyle, not just about diet. All of my cleaning products are vegan and not tested on animals, for example.

Others may do it for environmental reasons, or for health reasons, but for me it’s to reduce the suffering of animals.

What tips would you give to someone who wanted to try the vegan lifestyle?

Don’t overthink it. I think a lot of people assume that you have to miss out on your favourite foods when you go vegan. This isn’t the case at all. All you have to do is replace some of the ingredients with a vegan alternative. We just use egg and dairy alternatives in our cakes, for example.

Supermarkets now offer multiple cow’s milk alternatives, so it’s becoming a lot more accessible for people to make conscious choices.

You can still really enjoy your food. You don’t have to live on salads, vegetables and pulses – although you can if you want to. But it’s certainly not what we do, as you can see from our menu.

We cater for a lot of non-vegan people, especially at events. The number of customers who come up to us after eating and tell us that they can’t believe it’s vegan. They ask “How on earth is that vegan” and don’t realise that vegan food can be just as delicious as meat or dairy.

You can find Blondes on King Street in Cottingham. Check out their website to find out more. 

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Published: Wednesday 1st November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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