A Vegan store for Manchester

Mitsu & Sasha have kindly asked me to write a guest blog about my potential business venture.
 
Becoming a vegan whilst temporarily living in Australia was never going to be easy. It is the land of the sausage sizzle after all. But no fear I thought, when I move back home to Manchester, England in November 2010, life will be so much easier. I will be able to buy all the products I want and need. How wrong could I be!!

I flew home for a 3 week holiday in May, expecting to be able to locate at least one shop in Greater Manchester that sold solely vegan products. However, nada, zilch, nothing. Sure the supermarkets sell a few things. Health shops stock some vegan products. But there was not one store where a vegan could walk in and buy everything they need without having to check all the labels for animal derived ingredients. Readers, did I miss anything? Do you know of a store in Manchester?
 
An idea began to brew in my mind. Manchester needs a vegan emporium. A place where vegans can buy anything from shampoo to vitamins to mock cheese to books. And so my research began…..
 
I managed to find several vegan stores across the UK. A few of which sold a wide range of products, but fewer who actually had a physical store to visit rather than ordering online. Online shopping can be convenient but it is nice to actually walk in a shop and browse the shelves now and again. Talking online to vegan contacts confirmed my thoughts there isn’t really a one stop shop. Most people have commented that they regularly have to order from 3 or 4 different retailers to source everything they require.
 
My questions to you therefore are ….
 

  • How many stores do you currently have to frequent? Where are they? And do you order online or like to visit the store?
  • In your ideal store what would you want to find on the shelves?
  • What are your preferred brands that you would like to be able to find in this store?
  • Are you a manufacturer of vegan produce that you would like me to sell?

 
My idea of a vegan emporium is for you, so I need to hear your comments please! Please leave you comments, and also follow me on Twitter @littleflatfeet for updates on where the store will be located and when it will open! If all goes to plan I aim to open early 2011. Wish me luck!
 
Thanks!



10 thoughts on “A Vegan store for Manchester”

  • P.S
    I am aware of the Unicorn Grocery. My intention is not to carry a huge grocery style range as they do. But more to focus on products such as toiletries, cosmetics, books, vitamins, clothes, accessories, and whatever you tell me you struggle to get elsewhere. No fruit veg or deli. So I won’t be treading on anyones toes. I’ll also ensure I’m in a good location!

  • sounds great idea. right now I use Eighth day in Manchester, a shop in Bury (Jean’s) which is not brilliantly stocked plus usual supermarkets, markets & online. A one stop shop would be great. Following you on twitter….

  • I would love to walk in and find vegan yeast doughnuts!(please)
    But also vegan sports wear, clothes, trainers, that sort of thing. Hemp protein powders. Everyday vegan shoes. Smart looking bags (not just totes) maybe a recycling area for plastic hmmm.
    I frequently shop at the unicorn, holland and barrett and the eight day all in Manchester.
    All the very best of luck to you guys! Keep us all informed!

  • I would love to be able to try on and buy vegan mary jane shoes rather than having to order online and hope that they fit or traipse round TkMaxx in the hope that there may be a pair of vegan shoes in my size lurking on the shelf (more often than not there isn’t)!

  • I would be more interested in shoes, which are harder to locate. Vega vitamins and the such are also hard to find.

    In terms of actual food, I would be very pleased to see the elusive and much fabled Daiya cheese, as well as nut cheeses. A selection of vegan truffles wouldn’t go amiss, either.

    Best of luck with your venture!

  • hello,

    great idea – city centre/northern quarter area especially strikes me as a place with great potential for this.

    There are tons of things to discuss, and this has been discussed in detail with few people before, plus there are the experiences of the people who ran NoSkin vegan shop in afflecks for a while.

    I ran a vegan online shop for a while and am planning to open a vegan shop (not in manchester) so if you want to have a good yap about the subject, drop me an email 🙂

    Cheers,

    Joni

  • Thanks for all the positive comments! Seems like shoes are in demand!
    Daiya isn’t available outside Canada/USA as yet, that would require a company importing and distributing in the UK.

    Joni, are you on twitter? Your email is no published when you comment here.

    xx

  • Woop! What a good idea!
    I’d like to see more of the following:
    Homemade/pre packaged desserts: cakes/ice cream/doughnuts
    Pre made items such as sandwiches/soup/ready meals to take home(I’m lazy and often wish I could grab a vegan ready meal from a shop and stick it in the microwave)
    Also things like chilled potato salad/coleslaw/pasta salads I love the idea of actually being able to grab stuff like this and eat it at work or have t in the fridge instead of having to make it myself. Like I said I go through my lazy vegan stages and eat nothing but bread hummus salad and fruit.
    Shoes and make up
    Veganised items: Oreos in the us are reportedly vegan whereas Oreos in the uk cotton whey powder, Mayo, salad cream,

  • I make raw vegan chocolate and sell it via Etsy or if you live in south manchester I can personally drop it off, check out my facebook page for more details.

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