Teesside’s first vegan convenience store has opened in Middlesbrough’s Dundas Market, part of the town’s Dundas Shopping Centre.
Committed twentysomething Middlesbrough vegans Matthew Wilson (23) and Charlotte Bottomley (24) have launched The Little Vegan Market to make vegan food and other products much more accessible to people in the town.
The new outlet sells a wide range of meat, milk, cheese and egg alternatives, vegan confectionery and crisps, as well as more specialist products such jackfruit which can be used to make vegan pulled pork and wheat gluten, also called seitan, which is also a meat substitute and can be combined with liquid smoke to create a barbeque flavoured meat alternative.
The new shop also has a minimal waste section which offers bulk dried foods, as well as vegan shampoos, conditioners and detergents, to customers who bring their own containers, although paper bags and containers are also available in store.
Shoppers queued outside The Little Vegan Market on its opening morning, with the shop selling out of beans and sausages before the end of its first day’s trading.
Charlotte, who previously worked in local health food shops for a number of years, teamed up with Matthew to plug a gap in the market as they both found it very difficult to buy vegan products locally.
Matthew says: “We have taken a risk, but we hope to combine our vegan and ethical beliefs, particularly about reducing waste, with a successful business. Although most of our products are also available on line, our customers can get them from us immediately without paying delivery costs.
“We have got a good location in the market next to Alta Ego. Our first couple of days trading have been amazing, and we have got some excellent reviews on Facebook. We hope this will continue as word of our presence spreads.”
Matthew and Charlotte chose Dundas Market as the location for The Little Vegan Market because of its reputation for helping start-up businesses and are full of praise for Dundas Market Manager David Harris.
Matthew continues: “David has been fantastically helpful, passing on a lot of knowledge to help us get set up and to start trading. Without his help, we may not have got our new venture off the ground.”
David Harris says: “We are delighted to welcome The Little Vegan Market to Dundas Market. Charlotte and Matthew will complement our other businesses and their friendliness and service ethos will fit right in with the other traders in our community market.
“We still have a few units available, especially for traders looking to sell toys, music/games/books or fruit and veg, but we are always interested to hear from people with an idea for a new business, or who are looking to open a second outlet for their existing business.
“For new traders who want to test out a business idea, we also offer a small number of Enterprise Units from £60 per week, which equates to just £10 a day, on short term tenant agreements.”
Further information about units in Dundas Market is available from David Harris on tel. 01642 232552 or by email. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information about The Little Vegan Market is available from
Picture captions: (l-r) Charlotte Bottomley and Matthew Wilson in the new Little Vegan Market in Dundas Market