They’re opening up all over the UK.
Move over, traditional butchers. It’s all about the vegan butcher now.
The latest vegan butchers shop has opened up in Nottingham, in Sherwood.
Despite opening on April Fool’s Day, we promise it’s not a joke.
It was set up by vegan chef Ritchie Stainsby.
He told the BBC: “I enjoyed the taste of meat. I enjoyed everything about it, other than the way it arrived on my plate.”
He decided to open up Faux in Sherwood, making it the city’s first vegan butchers and delicatessen.
Everything that they sell is vegan, from meats to cheeses. It also looks like a traditional butcher in style, right down to the white aprons.
It’s been a huge success so far, says business partner Lauren Nally. “We’ve been selling out every single day,” she said.
Mr Stainsby said: “We’ve opened what we intended on being this tiny community shop, to bring something interesting to a high street that was close to home for us, but… it’s just been insane.”
The Vegan Society
The society are thrilled at his progress.
Francine Jordan from the Vegan Society told the BBC: “While vegans haven’t been short on choice in terms of frozen vegan meat alternatives before, I think a lot of consumers, vegan or otherwise, like the idea of physically going into a vegan butchers and picking out things and buying them fresh for their dinner that night.”
Not everyone is happy though. The British Meat Processors Association is concerned consumers could be deceived by the rise of “fake” meat.
CEO Nick Allan said: “We really don’t understand why this deceptive practice is occurring,” said CEO Nick Allan. “Vegetables are vegetables and meat is meat.”
“We presume this is a way of disguising to the consumer that, in fact, fake meat is made up of vegetables that have been heavily processed and come with all the concerns that go with processed food.”
Elsewhere other traditional butchers are unhappy at the use of their job title.
Gordon Wallace is a fifth-generation butcher from Scotland.
He said it was important “consumers understand and appreciate that a butcher is a skilled trade, with a proper apprenticeship training right through to master butcher, just as in building or other trades”.
“Just what is required to become a vegan butcher, I have no idea,” he said.
“That said, any shop that’s on the high street, that’s producing locally-sourced, sustainable food of sound, as opposed to heavily-processed, quality is a welcome addition, even if the name does not fit that comfortably.”
The Vegan Society doesn’t believe consumers were being deceived.
“We’d have to assume someone entering a vegan butchers – which would be clearly labelled as such – wouldn’t get confused that the food on offer is anything but a vegan alternative,” said Ms Jordan.
A European Parliament ruling in October said was little evidence consumers were mistaking veggie burgers or vegan sausages for meat.
“There has never been any indication that people feel misled by fresh vegan meats,” she said.
“Our products are quite clearly labelled as alternative. Everything is clearly labelled as vegan,” said Mr Stainsby.
“I do understand the concern, as plant-based alternatives are growing exponentially, meaning naturally the meat industry will be under pressure, for the first time, to compete.”
“Actually, I am pretty excited about this,” wrote one person.
“I am not veggie or vegan but would like a more plant-based diet for environmental reasons. I just hope the prices are reasonable.”
“Finally something nice for vegans in our area,” wrote another.
“We’ve felt like scientists recently, trying to create the textures, the smells, the flavours, the qualities that meat has,” he said.
“We’ve both not eaten meat for many, many years so we’re kind of relying on memory.
“In our opinion, our products taste like meat. They behave the same as a steak would you cook in a pan.”