Race to open vegan cafe for Ipswich’s Saints Summer Street Market

The race is on to get Hullabaloo vegan cafe, in St Peter's Street, open for the Saints Summer Street

The race is on to get Hullabaloo vegan cafe, in St Peter's Street, open for the Saints Summer Street Market on Sunday, John Halls, left, with volunteers Sandy Armitage and Scott Watson with the hand-made sign. - Credit: Archant

Award-winning vegan cafe owners Jon Halls and Jennie Debenham are racing against time to get their new Ipswich venture open.

They have enlisted an army of friends and volunteers as they attempt to get the Hullabaloo cafe open in St Peter's Street for the Saints Summer Street Market this Sunday.

After a year of running the first Hullabaloo, in Cemetery Road, they jumped at the opportunity of moving into the town centre taking on the former Jenny Wren's Yarns shop unit.

Jon Halls said: "We are determined to be open in some form, on Sunday. We have only had it three to four weeks. There was a lot to do.

"I feel like I am surviving by the seat of my pants most of the time. It is quite stressful.

"It still feels like a building site and we have got four days to go.

"We have had a massive team of volunteers and helpers. They have come out of the woodwork to help us. Some have helped physically, some with moral support. We are very grateful. The professionals have been brilliant too."

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The couple originally launched their vegan cafe away from the town centre. This year it won the Best Coffee and Tea Shop Award in the EAT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards.

He added:"We wanted to find somewhere in the town centre, with more footfall. The Saints is the ideal area for us."

It needed conversion for the new use, he said, putting in a kitchen, flooring, a new door, a water heater, upgraded plumbing and wiring.

"We have a coffee tasting on Sunday, between seven different blends, and the choice of Bird and Wild coffee was unanimous," Jon added.

"It encourages biodiversity and a 6% donation from the profits goes to RSPB."

Inside there is a strong emphasis on environmental impact as well as upcycling furniture and equipment.

"I think we are the auctioneers best friends," he said. "I think the only thing we bought new was one of the sinks, because of the dimensions.

"All the electricals are recycled. Some of the crockery is from a cafe that closed down."

He has made tables out of wrought iron bases and rescued timber, sanded and polished.

The counters are being made from old scaffold boards and the chairs are also being re-upholstered.

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