Today we get to talk to the lovely people at the Gnome cafe. Its a beautiful place located in Maldon high street. Its run by Harriet and Zeb. Lets find out about the cafe and them!
Looking out from the counter at the Gnome Cafe
Can you tell us a bit about the Gnome Cafe and what it is and why you started it?
In a nutshell: The gnome cafe is a Vegan cafe that showcases and sells art by local artists. At this early stage of development as a business we are focussing on expanding our menu and getting space downstairs sorted. In the future we hope to be hosting all kinds of events and workshops. We wanted to bring a cafe to Maldon that offers something different and can totally accommodate people that have chosen a vegan diet.
You guys are a vegan cafe. Do you just get vegans or do you find you get a mixture of everybody?
We are pleased to say that we get a good mixture of everybody. People in Maldon have responded very well but it's true that a majority of our customers are vegan/Vegetarian.
There are so many delious bagels to try!
We love making small changes that can make a difference. if someone wanted to try vegan food for the first time, what dishes would you recommend people start with from you guys?
Our vegan sausage toastie is made with Richmond Vegan sausages, caramelised red onion chutney and vegan cheese. This is a good one if you still want the satisfaction of a sausage sandwich as it's hard to tell that it's vegan!
We also have a falafel bagel that is my personal favourite. It's a toasted bagel with falafels, hummus, Turkish paste, rocket and a squeeze of lemon. Made all the better with optional hot sauce.
How important is sustainability and the environment to you guys and how do you incorporate it into your business?
The environment and sustainability are incredibly important to us. "Gnome" is an acronym for:
Guarding - Naturally - Over - Mother - Earth
Gnomes look after the garden, and we want to do our bit to look after the planet as a business. As well as serving a completely vegan menu, we make sure that our waste is recycled correctly by the local commercial Recycling company "Green Recycling".
A Gnome welcome
Maldon and the surrounding area have really seen a lot of change in terms of eating habits. Are you surprised how quickly it has changed and the number of vegan food options now available?
It's been incredible to see the recent additions to Maldons high street. It would seem that people are becoming much more open to the idea of a vegan diet and I sincerely hope that this development will keep on developing!
Do you think that plant based food will ever become the norm?
We think it's possible. Many cultures from India to Israel have been eating vegan based diets for a very long time so why can't we?
A Gnome and their skateboard
You guys are super arty and the cafe looks great. How important to you is the art in your cafe and life in general?
Art is very important to us at the cafe. We are both very creatively driven people and We are delighted with the variety of local art that has been submitted and even more so by maldons response to it. The cafe would not be the same without the amazing art on the walls and we are so grateful for every artist that has contributed.
What plans do you guys have going forward with the Gnome, we have heard rumours of music and workshops!
Yes! Once the downstairs area is complete we will have more space for workshops and equipment. Hopefully host life drawing sessions, "drink and draws" ect. We have lots of ideas and we are so excited to get round to them. Live Music is also something we want in the cafe and we are just waiting on licencing to make that happen!
Treats for dogs!
Finally a question from Brooke (our dog), as a dog friendly cafe who is your favourite dog and will they get a treat every time they come in?"
All the dogs that come through our doors are so well behaved so it's impossible to pick a favourite! (This being said, my day is made better when Brooke comes in!)
Our vegan carrot and peanut butter dog treats are made by a local Gnome cafe customer! They are 50p each and have always gone down a treat with everyone's dogs.
A huge Thanks to Zeb and Harriet for taking the time to answer our questions. You can follow them on Instagram @thegnomecafe.
If you are interested in other Vegan Maldon businesses check out the Maldon Vegan revolution page.