Hank's Deli closes its doors but remembers food bank

Hank's director Geoffrey Bligh was determined that no stock should go to waste.

Hank's director Geoffrey Bligh was determined that no stock should go to waste after closing the vegan shop and deli in Carr Street. - Credit: Matt Allman

The doors may have closed at Hank’s Deli & Shop in Carr Street, Ipswich, this week, but their community spirit has not run dry. 

Before they left, staff packaged up the last of the remaining stock to be donated to local food banks. 

“We wanted to make sure that none of the stock in the shop went to waste,” explained Geoffrey Bligh, director at Hank’s. 

“So, we invited several food banks and charities to come along on Thursday morning after our last day of trading and made sure that everything found its way to someone who could use it.” 

Vans were loaded up with food to be taken to Woodbridge food bank.

Vans were loaded up with food to be taken to Woodbridge food bank. - Credit: Claire Ling

One recipient was the Woodbridge food bank which operates out of the Salvation Army.  

It received 25 trays of tinned produce, as well as toiletries and laundry products. 

A spokesperson said that large donations like this make a huge difference to the community. 

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“We’re used by about 90 people a week,” he said, although explaining that this number was far higher in December.  

“It's not just the pandemic, it's a question of everything.  We've got people who have lost income, some have lost their jobs. Universal credit went down, and they just can’t cope with it. And another big cost is fuel. 

“We spend roughly £1,000 to £1,500 every six weeks just to buy the stock we require. This donation will make a difference because of the quantity. It will save us money. It also gives us options for people who are vegetarian or vegan.” 

Meanwhile, Hank’s will continue to serve their plant-based cuisine to the vegans of Suffolk. 

“It is disappointing that we have had to close the deli, it has been a fantastic two and a half years serving the people of Ipswich,” said Geoffrey. 

“But we've had so many comments and little notes saying how we've helped people discover how easy it is to be vegan, and even a note from someone who was inspired by the shop to open their own in Wales. 

“Hank's is still very much a part of the Ipswich community and we're pleased to say that our popular Hank's Dirty will still be here to serve the hungry folks of Ipswich.” 

Hank’s also has venues in Felixstowe and Colchester.