This post contradicts the title entirely but I have just walked all around town in search of something to eat, and I am not very happy with Cardiff, or the general attitude to vegetarianism here. All I wanted, in life, my absolute main focus, was something veggie friendly (preferably vegan) in a crusty bread roll, potentially warmed up or toasted, preferably avoiding burning a hole in my wallet. That is all, and apparently such a thing simply does not exist. And then to make it worse, each time I turn a corner I see this (or variants of):
And I’m just stood there like “I would! If it was possible to find something (anything!) to eat then I absolutely would!” And I feel guilty for the chocolate croissant I just ate because after half an hour of trying every supermarket and coffee shop on the high street I couldn’t find anything else. It is NOT the general public these pleas need to be aimed at, I am sure many people would cut down on animal products if an alternative was readily available to them, it is the shops, coffee shops, organisations which are providing the food and drink to the public. Walking into Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s this morning, all you can see are shelves and shelves of Chicken, bacon, cheese! Ads for local restaurants displaying “extra ice cream, fresh cream…” There is no way to escape it, three Greggs outlets later I think I have to resolve myself to the fact that their tiny vegan range failed its first few weeks; a shame.
It doesn’t have to be a big statement (I am very glad the Pret are opening up veggie stores but it doesn’t always have to be this grand), just having a few more vegetarian options, and the occasional vegan one too is all we need. To be honest, one of the best things about going vegetarian/vegan is that it’s easy to choose in restaurants because there’s usually just one or two suitable meals; we don’t need much.
So, my tiny little solution to this is applied to my final major project (I have a bit of an obsessive relationship with my work at the moment so why not direct this frustration towards uni?). Stalefish will provide AS MANY vegetarian options for food as meat options, and also a selection of vegan ones. It will not make a show and dance of it, it will simply exist. Obviously this is a few years down the line when the essentials have been covered and we can move on to serving food (I’m still considering the coffee shop idea to draw people in, but it isn’t the main focus). One aim of Stalefish is to encourage a healthy and positive lifestyle so all food and drink available will be healthy and of a good standard. “You are what you eat” so we want our customers to be eating well.
And as a side note, much like the site Bumble does in London, it will circulate positive messages such as these:
Another minor frustration from today is that there is so much pressure to network within the creative community here in Cardiff, and that’s all well and good when you’re in a sociable outgoing mood, but this morning I was feeling hazed and just wanted to sit quietly by myself without feeling anxious or ignorant, and listen to the talk. This was difficult to do with a whole room of people actively engaging in conversation and in all honesty by sitting out of the way I felt like a bit of an outsider. From the information I have gathered since starting this project, it appears that many of the target audience are introverted and much less confident in their skills and accomplishments than the older existing community, and networking is one of the reasons they are so intimidated by co-working spaces and events. To tackle this is and open the idea of working in a studio up to younger people, the events will always begin within a few minutes of the advertised start times, possibly stating that there will be a half an hour socialising time before the workshops/events begin so that more introverted people can avoid this. It is important that the studio is a comfortable space and that guests don’t feel awkward or out of place.