Estate's vegan cafe and shop is weeks away from opening
PUBLISHED: 18:25 07 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:18 08 April 2019
A businesswoman who is bringing a vegan cafe and shop to a Bury St Edmunds estate hopes to open in the beginning of May.
Allison Knight, of Allison’s Eatery, will inject life back into the empty unit at 6 St Olaves Precinct on the town’s Howard estate - first with her vegan venture and, all going well, a post office alongside it further down the line.
The former post office at the precinct closed suddenly in February 2017, so neighbours are said to be “delighted” at the prospect of one returning.
Read more: Community delight as post office set to return along with vegan cafe and grocers
Mrs Knight said opening the new business was both “exciting and scary”, adding she had received great support from residents.
“I know it’s going to be vegan plant-based, but it is something that Bury needs from what people are telling me,” she said.
“It’s not just about it being vegan plant-based, but a healthier way of eating. I wish there wasn’t a label sometimes as people get put off.”
She added: “I just want people to see it’s just food and if it saves animals and saves the environment and it helps get people healthier I’m all for it.”
Read more: Plans for post office alongside vegan shop and café approved on town estate
Mrs Knight, who is originally from Merseyside, envisages the cafe and shop will become a community hub with its seating area and possibly a book swap and board highlighting local events, which she said would tie in with the post office.
She said she will begin the application with the Post Office for a new branch to go alongside her vegan business later in the year.
Paul Hopfensperger, an independent candidate in the St Olaves ward for the West Suffolk Council election, said the community was “devastated” when the post office closed and everyone is “hopeful” the new venture will be a success.
He said: “It will be the only place people can go and sit in there and have something to eat and drink and meet their follow residents and be able to go in there for the post office.
“It will be a multi-purpose venue and I think everyone will be extremely excited about it.”
Mrs Knight added she plans for it to be as eco-friendly as possible, with second-hand furniture and for example the option to re-fill liquids like detergents.
Max Clarke, the Labour candidate for the St Olaves ward in the West Suffolk Council election, said veganism had become “very trendy,” adding the really great thing about it is the positive effect on the environment.
• The other candidate for the St Olaves ward in the West Suffolk Council election is Karen Soons, who is Conservative.