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New vegan bistro in Stratford launches crowdfunder as it prepares to open

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NEW Stratford bistro Fed is aiming to build on the nation’s increasing love for vegan and vegetarian food.

Matthew Curtis with his new venture Fed (53200837)
Matthew Curtis with his new venture Fed (53200837)

The Union Street eatery opens later this month next door to owner Matthew Curtis’s successful hairdressing salon.

A plant-based diet is the biggest food trend of the moment. It’s estimated that 14 per cent (7 million) of the UK population follows a meat-free diet, with veganism the fastest growing sector.

It’s a trend that Fed hopes to tap into.

“Plant-based eating is more prevalent than ever, people want a better balance in life. You can see that with Cop 26 going on and all the concerns for the environment,” said Matthew.

“We’re thinking more about the way we farm and our lifestyle choices. With Fed we want to create a better balance; whether you want to feel healthier, lose weight or be kinder to the planet.”

While Fed will cater for those that want milk in their tea or coffee, the rest of the menu will offer vegan dishes.

Matthew continued: “We want to provide good healthy, nutritious food fairly fast and create a great atmosphere and really nice vibe.

“There will be lots of small dishes that people can try and share. And our menu caters for coeliacs, and the wine is vegan too.”

By offering a quick service and takeaway, Matthew is hopeful that Fed will appeal to office workers, diners wanting a relaxing experience and tourists alike.

He’s also contemplating a delivery service, and is applying to secure one of the district council grants for an electric “rickshaw-style bicyle” to help with that.

Another innovation that Fed is going ahead with is its crowdfunding project that offers investors the chance to support the business through pre-purchasing anything from coffee (£5) to an evening’s private hire with chef (£2,000). Or for £100 you can have a week’s worth of food delivered with its Fed@Home catering service.

“We would love to expand and grow quickly and be able to offer a subscription service like Gusto,” explained Matthew. “We’re hoping that through crowdfunding we can get the help of the community to do that.”

The idea for the business has slowly taken root. Matthew has a young family: Harlow, four, and Gatsby, ten weeks, with his wife Raphael, and says he has been thinking more carefully about what he eats for the last eight years, and with the arrival of his children the future of the planet.

“We’re not eco warriors or anything, it’s about looking after the environment and thinking about future generations so Fed grew out of those concerns.”

Consultant chef on Fed is Adam Palmer, whose extensive CV includes heading up the kitchens at Champneys Health Resorts, has devised the Fed menu, which includes dishes such as no-cheese mac, meatless burgers, falafel, pomegranate and tabbouleh salad, Mexican beans on toast, scrambled tofu with rosemary, and fresh fruit breakfast compotes.

“It will be really fresh, great food,” said Matthew. “We won’t have bagged salad washed in chlorinated water.”

Every new business comes with risks, but Matthew is avoiding the word “gamble”. “I’d say Fed is an adventure we’ve not been on before. We’ve got a great team and we really believe in what we’re doing,” added Matthew.

Find out more at www.crowdfunder.co.uk and search for Fed bistro Stratford-upon-Avon.

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