We're kicking off our new H!P Stockist of the Month series with Vegicatessen, a vegan store based in Gloucestershire. Vegicatessen launched back in 2021 as a shop for vegan delicacies, cruelty-free health and beauty products and environmentally-friendly lifestyle items. For founders James and Charlotte, veganism is more than just a diet, it’s a moral and philosophical topic that they feel passionate about. We spoke with James and Charlotte about the creation of Vegicatessen and what a vegan lifestyle means to them.
1. Tell us about the store and the inspiration behind it.
Vegicatessen, as an online store, was born from James’ redundancy in 2020. For us, Vegicatessen is a positive form of activism: our beautiful shop is an inclusive haven where all are welcome and no conversation is off the table. We want to fly the vegan flag but ultimately share the best food and most exemplary customer service with people - something we struggle to find elsewhere these days!
2. When, and why, did you both adopt a vegan lifestyle?
We’ve been vegan just 2.5 years now, although it feels like we never knew another life! One night we accidentally clicked on a youtube video discussing factory farming, and once we had that knowledge there was no looking back. We’ve spent a lot of time watching, listening and reading since then and feel this is our duty towards the animals we share the world with, and frankly the bare minimum we can do as people.
Charlotte is also a birth rights activist and breast-feeding advocate and she finds it harrowing the way we treat mothers and their children in the dairy industry. For us, this is possibly the most heartbreaking arm of the farming industry.
3. How do you picture the future of Vegicatessen?
Whilst it is important to us to never lose our identity as a small family business, in 2023 we plan to be a major player in the vegan online market. We have some great plans and there are new vegans out there everyday looking for a trustworthy family business to shop with.
As a shop we wow everyone that steps through our door and we want the country to know we are worth travelling to visit. We are told time and time again we have the best coffee in town, along with some very hard to find vegan delicacies - and of course everyone stops by for our Saturday cheeseboard!
4. What are the three principal values you champion as a company?
Customer service, customer service, customer service!
5. Lastly, which is your favourite H!P bar?
Gingerbread! We anxiously waited all of 2022 for another one but we’ll nibble on Salty Pretzels while we wait for December to roll around again.
You can find James and Charlottes' wonderful store at:
Unit 36, Five Valleys Shopping Centre, Stroud, GL5 1RR