What for many years had been seen as a minority following amongst people who feel passionate about animal welfare and those with intolerances to dairy, has all of a sudden 'mushroomed' on to the mainstream food agenda. What is behind this development and what does it mean for the café and restaurant owners in our region?
We're used to 'dry-January' but this New Year has heralded a new detox regime - Veganuary. And there seems to be a very different make up of those taking part, as traditional meat-eaters selectively opt to be meat and dairy free for the first month of the year. Does this reflect a deeper interest in our planet and the animals who inhabit it? Or is the motivation down to the perceived health benefits of abstaining? Whilst it's tempting to make broad assumptions, it's clearly a very personal thing so the fact that so many people are choosing this path now may point to another influence….taste. There has been a response from chefs to this growing demand, and it's been to introduce 'Dirty' vegan dishes - dishes that look to pack a level of flavour and taste that until now, had never been associated with the more traditional Vegan offerings.
Black Goo @ Home & Colonial is a great example of a local business responding to this need. Having recruited a Vegan cook late last Spring, Charlotte has brought her flair and passion for creative, delicious Vegan dishes. To showcase these, a Vegan Wednesday was launched that provided a range of hot dishes to go alongside the regular counter selection of Vegan cakes. The great feedback and loyal following has encouraged Black Goo to extend this concept to Tring, which recently launched a Vegan Thursday. Typically offerings include Bhuda Bowls, Falafel pitta, Portobello garlic mushooms on a avocado salad and my personal favourite, the Jack Fruit burger (see pic); it has the look of pulled pork and packs a taste so good that many people exclaim 'is this really Vegan???'.
The New Year is a great time to change a habit or try something new so If this has whetted your appetite, then why not give it a go and visit us at Black Goo next time you're in Berkhamsted or Tring ? It could be the start of something beautiful….
the end of a big week for the fit out, with most of the building work to the main room now done. Final fit of the lights that look amazing (thank you Alan and Steve). We drove past tonight and could not believe how good it looks in the dark.
Charley has done a fab job with the walls, and we think you're going to love the effect created.
we had the Black Goo crew in for training today - Dilly and Sach did a great job going through all the essentials before Darren finished the day with barista training. A great team is so important to any business, and we're thrilled to have the BG crew onboard and sharing our excitement for our new venture. Dilly laid down the (fashion) law, as only a true fashionista can lol.
So now it's down to the final push and the big clear up - wish us luck....!
Feel for anyone stuck in traffic due to the closure of the A41 whilst they've been doing some filming in Tring today. We're still not quite sure who's filming, however the local grapevine included Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and the slightly less glamorous... Some new ' ITV drama'. In case it was any of the former three, Sacha has had bath, cleaned the paint stripper from her nails and splashed on the Chanel No.5...
We took advantage of the captive audience of standing traffic on the High Street to advertise the forthcoming opening....
Nice to enjoy the last Mother's Day in relative peace and quiet of our own home - fire on and slow roast lamb shoulder doing its thing in the oven. It's all going to change for us in a couple of weeks - next year will be Mother's Day brunch specials 😊☕️🍾🍰...
Lots of building progress since the last blog, and two big weeks ahead as final fit out takes place.
We've been talking to some great suppliers - one of the best things about being independent is that it allows us to source different products from people (many local) who are passionate about what they do and the providence of what goes in to their products - looking forward to sharing these with you soon - yum yum....
Enjoy the rest of your Mother's Day! Love from Black Goo xx
we've had so many positive comments and responses to the job ad in the window. Thanks to everyone who's been in touch
Thanks to Tring signs and Jo for the fab art work
Lots of progress this week, recruiting the team, building work, getting our bar installed and just as we started to really panic about what needed to be done, a knight in shining armour (Jonathan) came by to give us heeps of advice. No one was more relieved than our builder!
Now for those of you who know us, you'll find the attached link as painfully funny as we have. Pretentious? Hippester chasing? Trying too hard? Tick all the above.....
So that's our template for success well and truly exposed lol..
Couple of pictures of progress and 'something for the weekend sir'? (this is how they take their morning coffee in Rio, aparently.....)
So completely out of the blue and without asking, the Council kindly installed 2 bike stands right outside the shop. How good is that? I'd been thinking about what we could do for cyclists (including me!), so one less thing to worry about. In the meantime, building work continues - pipes being laid and sorting out where fittings will go.
Great to see Jack & Alice about to open - feels like there's a bit of new life being brought to the high street with the wonderful 1949 interiors shop being followed by the exquisite Luxe 22 having just re-located from Berkhamsted (now next door to the fabulous Akeman). I think it really helps our already lovely town to remain relevant and a desirable place to spend time, and can't wait to join them!
Thought I'd share another coffee related tune with you - Etta James, cigarettes and coffee, take it away Etta...
Kicked off the weekend with a visit to Jack & Alice . Had a great night - some lovely food, wine and catching up with loads of friends. They've made a great job of the place - good luck to the boys and I'm sure we'll be seeing you again after a long day at the Coffee Shop! Busy week ahead selecting the team to join us as the building work continues apace.
Hope you've got something nice and romantic planned for the weekend, and leaving you with a couple of lovely tunes for your Sunday morning in bed...(can you guess which one is my choice and which is Sachs.... - she's old skool)
so, after what seems an age, Sach went over to Watford today to sign the lease. So that's that - we're in it for the next 10 years!
Big thanks to our solicitor, Claire, for all her amazing work in turning this around as quickly as she has, and to Faye!
Then raising a glass with lovely friends Clare, Anna and Gareth.....
Strip out continuing apace and now getting a real feel for the new space. More furniture acquired - old school (literally) benches and table from eBay, and some sofas and chairs arrived today.
Grabbed a quick coffee at Fred and Gingers on the way back from a meeting today - it's been a real inspiration for Black Goo and shows that there are plenty of people in smaller towns that love a little bit of that London coffee bar vibe...
After the successful coffee tasting, Sach is off to meet a local supplier in Hertford to check out their delicious blend.
Had a fabulous response from the shop window advert and will be setting up some interviews over the next couple of weeks.
Now for the biggest challenge of the day - trying to teach Flossie how to do magic tricks with her new magic set.....