We recently took the time to chat to entrepreneur Ben Rose – the proud owner of Glasgwegian café brand Rose & Grants. First things first, the café style and food on display is as beautiful as the name above the door. Bright and airy, the Trongate café is a hub for local creatives and city residents and has recently been making waves in the Vegan community with the latest additions to the menu.
Established in 2009, Rose & Grants started off in Bearsden catering to the west end taste for niche coffee houses and quality deli food. Since then, Ben and his team have been constantly developing the menu. With a few stints on the vegan diet himself, it’s no surprise that what you see on the menu has originated from some home-cooking experiments at the Rose household.
Famous for its Vegan “Square Sausage” Rose & Grants has also recently teamed up with Laurianne’s Raw Cakes and Cool Jerk Vegan pies to supply you with all the Vegan treats you need to keep you satisfied this winter – there’s even talk of Sgaia Mheats making an appearance next year. Ben: “There’s a whole lot of the Vegan community that kind of fits together, and they all know each other […] What I’m trying to do is make food that everyone can enjoy even though it’s vegan… I think it’s really important for both sides actually, I think it’s important that people who aren’t vegan embrace the food.” Ben: “The challenge for local vegan suppliers though is that they are going to need to change from once a week drop offs. I think the demand is too high. For example, when I go through vegan spells I tend to eat really healthily with dahls and beans etc., that’s not always what people want and these suppliers have cottoned on to that.”
Vegan chef Caroline Melville has been with Rose & Grants for 2 years and plays a vital role in their menu development. The inventor of the Vegan square sausage, she believes that your Vegan lifestyle shouldn’t take away from your favourite meals. We’re ecstatic to announce that her latest project is recreating the cheese toastie for our vegan taste buds – bring it on!
Ben: “The big vegan breakfast was a big change for us,” – the success of the Vegan breakfast option lead to the addition of a full Vegan menu on display. It seems that R&G are looking to create an easy access, no fuss approach to Vegan options rather than the usual picking through of your average deli menu to see what options are available.
“I think that’s why maybe the Vegan community likes us because they can come here with their boyfriend/girlfriend or whoever who might not be vegan. I mean the amount of the younger generation who now have an alternative lifestyle – we see them in here with their Mum.”
Clearly, R&G hadn’t anticipated how much demand there would be. The past year has seen a huge investment in advertising and menu development to cope with the increasing demand for vegan profits in Glasgow. This change is reflected in their profits, which are looking at a 30% increase with vegans only really representing about 20-30% of their customer base. Proof that you don’t have to be Vegan to be passionate about the food, but it helps.
R&G have an unusual blend of Asian inspired cuisine and deli food, their Vegan Nasi Goreng is a huge hit. We asked Ben why he thinks this particular dish has been such a success.
Ben:”I think because of the British Empire, all of Britain has a love of spicy food. And there is a huge influence of Pakistan, India and further east in our food, made by people whose families have been here for four generations. And I think the spicy food does well here as a vegan option because there’s already a taste for it – I mean there’s vegan pizzas everywhere but not necessarily this.” The proof is in the Nasi Goreng and Square Sausage- pushing the taste bud boundaries in Scotland can go either way: you can either create something new and exciting or stick to the basics yet the Vegan movement can accommodate both and still make an impact.
We love the versatility of the Rose & Grants menu as well as their ethos on accessibility for all food preferences. It demonstrates a bigger movement taking place across the city and it’s safe to say we’ll be back for one of Caroline’s cheese toasties as soon as they’re ready!
Rose & Grants recommended dish: Combine their trademark Vegan Square Sausage with mushrooms and sriracha mayo in a roll and enjoy!
You can visit Rose & Grant’s at: 27 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5EZ