West Midlands Vegan Festival 2017

So, I made it! I have been to the West Midlands Vegan Festival for the first time last weekend. I have heard so many good things about this event before, and I have to say they deliver what is promised: a unique opportunity to educate ourselves about a healthy and eco-friendly lifestyle.

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The West Midlands Vegan Fest is the biggest of its kind in the UK.

Last year’s event was a huge success with well over 1,000 more visitors compared to the previous year – and the biggest ever in its nine-year history. And the good news is that organisers are staging a unique event on an even bigger, massive scale this October to celebrate the festival’s 10th anniversary.

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This year, outstanding businesses, cookery demonstrators, speakers, performers and amazing caterers could celebrate a very special date; the event’s 10th anniversary.

It was delightful to learn more about healthy eating and talk to small businesses owners that are catering for vegan and non-vegans. That’s right. The festival wasn’t just aiming to achieve vegetarian public.

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And I guess it was a success, considering the Wolverhampton Civic and The Art Gallery, as well as the stalls, placed outdoors, were very busy on both days of the event. The organisers estimate 6.000 visitors for this year event.

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Some people have the conception of vegetarian food is bland and boring. Oh well, I guess all of you should pay a visit to this event to check the most tasteful and creative food. To be honest, it was quite difficult to choose only a few to try among cakes, burgers, bread, cheeses and all types of food influenced by many cultures.

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I gambled first at a “Smugger” (Smokey bean and mushroom burger with salad and homemade tomato chutney) made by The Ginger Cow UK. This is vegan street food with a bit of twist. It was delicious, and I would follow them at any event from now to go.

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There is space for all types of businesses there. And I was quite impressed with the variety of food caterers presented at the festival. From the delicious flatbreads of Replete to the quirky sauces made by Soraí; there are so much to learn about the concept of those businesses.

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I won’t deny that it was a bit difficult to avoid the temptation of trying many delicious homemade cakes. Sweet Vibes Baker won my heart with delicious treats that I had to bring back home with me. It is also interesting to research more about Chamiah Goulbourne to understand her path in the veganism and understand the idea behind Sweet Vibes Baker.

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The West Midlands Vegan Festival is definitely a showcase for the vegan industry in the UK and around the world. It doesn’t matter what kind of entrepreneurs we are talking about, they will be well represented there.

 

Skincare is also popular featuring in the event. I have found even a product from Brazil. The Ouricuri Oil made by Wioowi. I never heard about it before, but it is good to see my country can export eco-friendly ideas to be spread here too. It is essential to support natural, eco-friendly products for the future generations get the benefits of those actions.

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I was also curious to find out more about organic clothes brands like Hempish for example. Hemp and bamboo are both versatile, strong and durable materials that can produce numerous products that are not a threat to Earth at all.

And we need to spread the words about it! It was great to check the eco-friendly fibre from high-quality products displayed in the festival.

Multi-award winning organic, natural, vegan and handmade UK skincare brand Heavenly Organics was also present there.

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Another highlight of the day was joining the cookery demonstration of the day. I have chosen to watch the cheesemaking workshop for a simple and good reason: It is so difficult to find suitable cheeses for vegetarian. Cheese is one of the most difficult things to give up (for some people, I guess) when joining a plant-based lifestyle. It is hard to find a substitute for cheese lovers.  Don’t you agree with me?

Oh well, not anymore!

I have learnt it is possible to make quality and affordable vegan cheese with the lovely Mel Rogers. She is a star! One of those people that we can spend hours in a pub talking about veganism and cheese, of course.

And hey-ho, her recipes are so simple to be developed that anyone can give it a try. I mean, anyone! I have tried three different types of cheeses made by Mel during the event and I am keeping an eye on her next workshops. Visit her website to find out more about her brilliant events.

The West Midlands Vegan Festival is organised by Midlands Vegan Campaigns.

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Posted by

I'm a Brazilian journalist based in West Midlands. In Brazil, I have worked with International Trade and Logistics publications. Now in the UK, I keep writing and I dedicate myself to a new project : Midlands Trade - a blog focused on business in Europe and Brazil. It's also supporting small businesses throughout the #MeetTheBusiness.

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