Up to now...
Gracious Grub began in my home kitchen in 2017. I could see how people wanted to explore eating meals without the need to include animals products, but were short on time or know-how and actually their go-to meals weren't making them as happy as they used to. I realised if I was cooking dinner for my family, and having worked in catering establishments making large quantities, I could cook for other people too... I started a weekly batch cook serving meals like curries and stews; meals people can have ready for them after a long day at work but also have to practice self care by cooking their fresh grains and vegetables to accompany them. This was a Thai curry:
2 years on I still batch cook but also attend fairs and cater for private events, showing people in different places and settings that vegan food is not strange or hard to cook or you miss out when you make changes in your food choices. I vary what I cook up so sometimes it is wholefoods, sometimes 'naughty' foods like burgers and cakes, but I always want people to know it is made with care. Most of my customers aren't vegan which goes to show that whilst veganism is still in the minority what I offer is not niche - it is simply good food that happens to be plant based!
Growing Gracious Grub...
Gracious Grub is now ready for its own kitchen to be able to feed many more people! I get people asking me to marry or move in with them due to my food (heehee!) but as I can't do that, I have found a unit in Skelmersdale and am asking for your help to fit it out in order to be able to get more plant-based food into more stomachs each week! Being at home could only ever be a temporary situation - when EHO assessed my kitchen and gave me my 5* rating they want you to be actively looking for a permanent premises. I have reached past my capacity at home and need to expand.
The plan is to make lighter meal/can't freeze items at the start of the week such as soups, salads, sandwich fillings, bakes etc and as everyone loves the batch cook on a Thursday, towards the end of the week have the stews and heartier/can be frozen items ready so you can plan the big shop for the next week with your Gracious Grub taken into account. The shop will be on the main bus route through Skelmersdale and I will be able to deliver to customers who have difficulty getting to the shop (be it mobility or mental health issues). This is delicious Coronation Chickpea and Crispy 5-spice Tofu Noodle Soup before I added the tofu:
I can also produce foods for non-vegan cafes/pubs/restaurants that are looking to expand their menu but have to balance putting the effort and stock into what may not yet be a big seller, and also to vegan shops for their customers who find themselves turning to junk food if they've not time to cook as at present there are very few in-between options.
By doing these things during the week I get to spread the cruelty-free food love out as I can attend fairs and events at the weekend.
Lastly, I will continue to help people with ideas and cooking tips to help them increase their confidence to create their own vegan meals. If you need a couple of teaspoons of cardamom pods to try that recipe you saw in a magazine without having to invest in a whole jar, come and see me! Not sure what to do with that tin of unusual beans you bought ages ago and there's an aubergine in the fridge sitting doing nothing, come and see me! You get the gist.
In all this and by doing this, my children remain my world and I hope to show them the right way with food, how to treat people, animals and the world, a work ethic and also by spending quality time with them. I'd be so grateful if you can help me get a head start with the business to be able to achieve all I have talked about. Thank you x
Forecast costs include:
- Kitchen appliances and furniture £5,500 (for brand new; I will source second hand where possible to make any donations go further)
- Electrical supply £1,790
- Electrician fees £2,000
- Plumbing fees £1,000 (inc water heater)
- Signage £500