Independents’ Day - The Accidental Vegan Café, in Honiton
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:43 12 December 2017
The Accidental Vegan Café in New Street aims to offer something different in Honiton.
Please introduce yourself…
My name is Petra Bright. I have lived in Honiton for the last 17 years and opened The Accidental Vegan Café in Easter this year.
Before I took up this venture, I was an administration manager for a recruitment agency. I live in Honiton with my husband and two children.
What made you decide to set up shop as an independent trader in Honiton?
After becoming vegan and realising there is very little choice in mainstream cafés and restaurants in Honiton and the surrounding areas, we decided to try to fill the gap and open a café in Honiton.
The provision for vegan and vegetarian eateries in Devon is sporadic but, in the last three years, the lifestyle has become more and more popular.
The supermarkets are stocking more vegan items, and you have ‘Veganuary’ which is a vegan awareness initiative. So far, the reception has been really good – everybody who comes in comes back again. We have some really lovely regular customers.
How do you see your business faring over the next five years?
It’s about making sure we have a presence in Honiton and possibly expand. We are a very small café so it would be good to consolidate our place. The ideal goal would be to have another café in another town.
What advice would you give to anybody considering setting up an independent shop?
Do your research and make sure there is a need for what you are providing.
Have a really good support network around you because you must not underestimate how hard you will have to work and how many hours you will have to spend.
I would also say make the most of social media and other web platforms. You will have a greater reach – we have had customers from Birmingham visiting Cornwall, because of an app we are on. Without it, their search would have bypassed us and they would have gone somewhere else.