Embracing the art of staycations, we take a tour of Plymouth to discover what hidden vegan treats this city has waiting to be uncovered
The Greenhouse Spa Retreat
The Greenhouse Spa Retreat encompasses minimalist vegan living while nurturing yourself in nature. Owners Victoria and Dan had a dream to create a space where everyone would feel welcome to experience glamping, spa days, wellbeing treatments and pop-up events within a beautiful Cornish family-grown garden.
Victoria explains how important the garden is to the business: “Seven years on from setting up The Greenhouse Spa Retreat, we feel so fortunate to have been given the freedom by Linda (Dan’s mum) to take on the role of re-establishing a life for the garden and being able to share the wonder with so many visitors.
Everything you see was planted as a sapling or a seed. The garden is a family legacy that we wish to carry on, living alongside nature and with other beings, stepping gently as we go forward.”
It took them two and a half years to build the first stage of the business, upcycling people’s unwanted things from websites such as Gumtree and Freecycle, reloving them and giving them a new home.
There are three pods to stay in within the garden and no animal products are used on-site, from the cleaning products through to the spa treatments, and they also ask everyone to only eat and cook plant-based food while staying, so cross-contamination isn’t a problem. This place may not be in Plymouth itself, but it’s certainly a very special place to stay that will give you good access to the area.
North Sillaton, St Mellion, Saltash www.thegreenhousespa.co.uk
Green Gal Goods
Green Gal Goods is a vegan bakery/café set up by Emily Adams, a baker with a passion for environmental and social campaigning and a mission to be as zero waste as possible.
After a successful experiment as a student, providing vegan baked goods for a sustainability fair in the city, Emily decided to set up a café at a local venue called The Clipper, which is owned by Nudge Community Builders.
The Clipper has a history of being one of the rowdiest pubs in Plymouth! Based on Union Street, in Stonehouse, this area is the second most deprived in the country. Now, The Clipper has turned from pub to community hub, where three vegan pop-up foodie businesses come and go weekly.
As well as having delicious bakes, pancakes and healthy meals on offer, Emily has a ‘pay as you feel’ option for her homemade Souper-Soup, to allow for anyone to go in and have a wholesome meal at any cost.
The Clipper Inn, Plymouth www.facebook.com/greengalgoods
The Hedgerow Hound
This independent family business started in 2019. The family set out to share their love of sustainable vegan food by combining their knowledge of foraging, kitchen gardening and world food.
Lily Thomson explains: “We wish to minimise environmental impact and use the seasons as our guide when sourcing the highest quality local produce for our ingredients. This enables us to provide the tastiest, freshest foods, handmade in our kitchen on Dartmoor.
“Due to the current circumstances we’re working with Nudge Community Builders and offering street food and delivery services out of The Clipper Inn on the weekends, as well as pop-ups at local venues and events where possible and launching a wholesale business.”
Sisters Helen and Caroline had their eyes opened to the zero waste movement three years ago and, after finding out more about how badly resources are wasted around the world, they looked for a zero waste shop near them.
The closest was Earth Food Love in Totnes, which they quickly fell in love with and decided they wanted to create something similar in their home town of Plymouth.
Helen and Caroline reveal how hard it was to make their dream a reality: “We wanted to have a big range of food, cleaning and lifestyle products, but found the equipment was quite expensive.
“We decided to crowdfund half our start-up money, and with investments from lots of customers-to-be, Natwest Back Her Business and Plymouth City Council Development fund, we raised over 23K to start Jar in 2019.
“A few months later we moved into the old Art Centre in historic Looe Street. We had big boots to fill, we were fans of the Art Cinema growing up in Plymouth and we regularly see old customers and employees in the shop. It’s a beautiful setting and we’re very lucky to be there. As we’re vegan, everything we sell is vegan-friendly.
“From the raw chocolate snacks and fresh locally made cakes to the straw brushes and wax wraps. Most of the food we sell – pastas, rice, dried beans, nuts and seeds – would be vegan anyway, but it’s great to showcase the lovely vegan foods being made across the UK and in our city, and to talk about vegan cooking to our customers.
“We’re also lucky enough to stock ReRooted Organic plant milks in returnable glass, made in Totnes, and Raw Chocolate Company treats from vanoffee cashews to rose chocolate hearts that we buy in bulk, so our customers can buy them loose in their own containers, and lots more!”
38 Looe Street, Plymouth www.jarplymouth.co.uk
Samphire is a small family-run restaurant in the heart of Plymouth that specialises in vegan junk food! It opened its doors in 2013 after the owners found a niche gap in the market in the Plymouth area.
Now, as well as being able to enjoy the food in the restaurant, it also offers takeout and delivery options. It has a vegan deli counter offering even more food on the go too.
Head to Samphire for treats such as Finger Lick’n Fibs, Grab Life By The Meatballs, Bacun Mac Attack and What The Duck Burger.
111 Mayflower Street, Plymouth www.samphirebrasserie.com
Love travelling to find vegan food? Check out our vegan city guides from around the world here.