Plymouth couple open vegetarian and vegan restaurant
THE horse meat scandal won't affect a new £24,000 restaurant due to open this month – because it will only offer vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Plymouth couple Joe Wadge and Rebecca Speare are both just 23 years old and both vegetarians.
The pair, who live in Milehouse, are to open Samphire Brasserie, in Mayflower Street, after obtaining finance from loan-provider South West Investment Group, business charity Fredericks Foundation and some cash from relatives.
Mr Wadge and Miss Speare have taken a 10-year lease on a unit which was once home to a Greek restaurant and plan to create jobs.
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"We are looking for two or three kitchen staff and another two or three front-of-house staff depending on how busy we get," said Mr Wadge, a life-long vegetarian who will take charge of the kitchen.
He has worked for other caterers as a chef but because he was reluctant to work with meat his career options were limited.
"It's difficult being vegetarian and a chef for someone else," he said. "They wanted me to sample the food, and butchery skills were against my ethics."
Miss Speare has previously worked in retail and will handle front-of-house duties.
The business will operate as a dual diner: from noon to 3pm it will offer cakes, coffee and sandwiches, but in the evening have an a la carte restaurant menu.
"We want it to be relaxed during the day, with people able to work, we will have wi-fi," said Mr Wadge. "We are niche, there is nothing in Plymouth like this."
He said that includes offering vegan dishes, without any animal products at all, in the restaurant.
"We will always have a couple of vegan options, because vegans can't find anywhere to eat," he said.
Miss Speare added: "We will always have two starters, two mains and two desserts which are totally vegan.
"And we know where all our milk comes from, we've even been to the farms, it's important to us."