First vegan butcher in the UK to open on World Vegan Day

Rudy's Vegan Butcher, London, photo: Reuters/Henry Nicholls
Rudy's Vegan Butcher, London, photo: Reuters/Henry Nicholls

“We’ve had the idea for a couple of years, sort of a vegan butcher’s. Since we opened the vegan diner on the market in Camden, we started producing all our homemade plant-based meats,” Matthew Foster, co-founder of Rudy’s Vegan Butcher, says.

On Sunday’s World Vegan Day, Rudy’s is launching Britain’s first permanent vegan butcher in London. “We made a lot of specials, a lot of roast turkeys at Christmas time, this kind of thing. And we just found it really enjoyable and we discovered that people wanted it. People are really enjoying it,” Foster says.

Demand for vegan products has increased in recent years in Britain. More and more people are cutting out animal products completely while others reduce the amount of meat and dairy they consume each week.

“I think it’s very nice actually. I do eat meat a lot of the time, but that (the vegan pastrami) is just as good, I think, as normal pastrami. I would happily try a lot of stuff in there,” David Morgan, who’s trying samples outside the shop, tells Reuters.

“I also think this could be the way forward for a lot of people that do eat meat. It’s like a nice substitute, isn’t it? Probably a lot more healthy as well,” he continues.

The substitutes, set out in the brightly lit shop with white walls and sketches of animals on the walls, are made from soy and seitan.

“It’s really confusing, but I love it. (journalist asking: Why is it confusing?) I don’t know it just tastes really weird. It tastes like normal pastrami and kind of like pizza as well, and yeah, it just tastes really weird. I don’t know why. It’s really good but really weird,” seven-year-old Maximus Fried says while trying the pastrami.

“We’re cutting up cuts of meat, effectively, alright it’s plant-based meat, yeah, but it’s the closest thing to describe what we do. So people understand what it is that we’re selling,” Foster says about the products they sell.

“It’s all designed to emulate meat. It tastes like meat, it’s got meat-like texture. You cook it like meat. The only difference is it’s made from plants so it’s all ethically sourced, great for the environment, healthy, made with beautiful fresh vegetables, beans, herbs and spices. Nothing naughty in it at all, it’s all-natural beautiful stuff.”

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