It was World Vegan Day on Sunday, November 1, and it proved to be a remarkable day for one new business.
UK’s very first permanent vegan butcher, Rudy’s, had a successful launch, selling out of stock online on its first day of opening. Eager customers lined up around the block to get their hands on their favourite meat-free goodies.
Rudy’s serves up vegan versions of classic American junk food. From meat-free burgers and giant seitan hot dogs to melt-your-mind dairy-free milkshakes and pastrami-packed sandwiches.
Veteran vegan chef and co-owner, Matthew Foster, specialises in transforming classic diner dishes into guilt-free, mouthwatering meals that turn the heads of those strolling past the open-plan kitchen. They also stock plant-based meats, like ribs, chicken liver pate, lobster salad, bacon, burgers, and Christmas turkey among others.
Sharing a video of the long queue on Instagram last week, the butcher revealed the store sold out on its first day, with 100 online orders in ten minutes.
Rudy’s wrote: “This was the line at 10:54 am before we even opened and it didn’t slow down for hours! 100 online orders in the first ten minutes! Thank you to everyone who stopped by, messaged with love, ordered online, and shouted out our news. It was an unbelievable turnout. We are so blessed to have your support and feel overwhelmed by all the love. THANK YOU, thank you a million times and more.”
To celebrate the launch, the butcher gave away 5000 slices of free plant-based bacon, with the first 100 customers getting half a pound (1 kg) each. Although it is not the first vegan butcher to open in the UK, it is the first to have a permanent base, with others being temporary pop-ups.
Last month, the shop stirred up some debate on Twitter with users questioning how a vegan shop could be called a “butcher”.
Television presenter and writer Piers Morgan wrote: “A vegan butcher’s shop…and people wonder why I’ve written a book about the world going nuts.”
Another user shared the definition of a butcher – “a person whose trade is cutting up and selling meat in a shop” – adding: “If I was vegan, I would be pretty confused.”
Someone else commented: “I am a vegetarian…but I don’t understand the need to mimic meat and call these butcher shops….do ur own thing…attract people for your own food options.”
While some could not understand why it was called a “butcher”, many others stepped up to defend the shop, saying all that mattered was that no animals had been harmed.