Vegan cafe holds festive celebration in the run-up to Veganuary

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

A vegan cafe in Ipswich has invited customers to a seasonal celebration - as many people around the world prepare to take part in Veganuary next month.

Jon Halls and Jennie Debenham , owners of Hullabaloo Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Jon Halls and Jennie Debenham , owners of Hullabaloo Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

In Suffolk, more people have switched to a vegan diet and lifestyle over the past year, with several plant-based eateries and shops opening their doors.

Award-winning Ipswich cafe Hullabaloo this year moved from Cemetery Road to their new town-centre location in St Peter's Street.

This weekend, owners Jon Halls and Jennie Debenham held a festive bring-and-share lunch, inviting friends, customers and families to join in.

"The majority of people who come here are not vegan," Jon said. "A lot of vegetarians and meat eaters come here, because they like the food and the ethos."

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

He said people were realising it was important to eat more plant-based foods not just because of animal welfare, but also for the sake of the planet and their personal health.

"There is definitely more awareness. Everybody knows a vegan - everyone says their brother, sister or auntie is a vegan."

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The couple saw the weekend event as a chance to welcome and thank the community.

Young children joined in the fun, trying the foods and playing with toys. Jon and Jennie's son Jesse, aged four-and-a-half, and their baby twins, Bo and Oona, who are only two-and-a-half weeks old, were there to add to the family atmosphere.

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

READ MORE - Food review: What's the food like at vegan cafe Hullabaloo?How can you take first steps to a Vegan lifestyle?

Interest in vegan food is growing all year round, but especially in January.Since 2014, more than half a million people in 178 countries have joined in Veganuary - taking a pledge to eat vegan food for 31 days.

Do you plan to join them and go vegan for a month - or would you just like to try some vegan foods and get a taste of the lifestyle? Here are 5 top tips.

- Swap your breakfast. Vegan breakfast options include fresh granola and oat milk, as well as sourdough toasties and scrambled tofu. These are all served at Hullabaloo.

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

- Eat lots of fresh fruit and veg. Fresh food is important for health and full of flavour. Hullabaloo's ethos is not to use a lot of meat substitues, but to appreciate different flavours.

- Sample a soup: Soup is especially popular during winter, and vegetable soups at the cafe are an easy way to try different flavours. You can also whip up your own soups at home.

- Read labels. You might be put off going vegan by the thought of looking through tiny print, but the good news is that many more foods are now clearly marked as vegan-friendly - and the range of options is growing all the time.

- Eat local and seasonal. Although supermarkets now have a lot of vegan foods from around the world, buying food that has come a long way has environmental impact in terms of air miles.

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

If you sign up to take part in Veganuary, you will receive helpful recipes, meal plans and tips. Visit the Veganuary website here.

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Vegan bring and share event at the Hullabaloo cafe in Ipswich Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: RACHEL EDGE

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