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A meat-free ‘butcher’s shop’ is popping up in east London

Chris Waywell
Written by
Chris Waywell

Okay, this is possibly an unlikely scenario, but if you’re someone who wants to embrace a vegan diet but thinks that you might miss your regular trip to the butcher’s, then have we got a treat for you… 

To coincide with World Meat Free Week, Sainsbury’s is opening the UK’s first completely vegan butcher’s shop. The pop-up will chop up and dish out animal-free alternatives this weekend in – appropriately enough – Bethnal Green. 

The supermarket has seen a 65 percent increase in sales of plant-based meat alternatives in the last year from an increasingly conscious congregation of vegan Londoners. It parallels the explosion in the capital of vegan-friendly restaurants, street-food stalls and even pubs.

The three day pop-up will look like a traditional butcher’s from the street, but inside, staff will serve customers vegan ‘Shroomdog’ mushroom sausages, pea-protein mince, ‘Veggie Ribz’ and ‘Moroccan Vegbabs’, and offer advice on how to cook them.

To keep it authentic, we assume they’ll be wielding cleavers and wearing white trilbies and aprons spattered with beetroot juice. As yet, there aren’t details as to whether the shop will be selling meat-free versions some of the more esoteric products of a traditional butcher’s. Vegan brawn, maybe? Or – mmm! – sweetbreads.

Sainsbury’s Meat-Free Butchers is at 146 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 6DG. It’s open Fri Jun 21-Sun Jun 23.

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