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Leeds-based vegan chippy launches cloud kitchen in Manchester

Following the success of its vegan fish and chip shop in Leeds, JJ's Vish & Chips has opened a cloud kitchen in Manchester.

The new takeaway is one of 10 food businesses operating out of the unit in Dark Lane, Ardwick, serving its plant-based take on fish and chips for delivery through Just Eat, Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

Open Thursday to Monday 4pm-10pm, JJ’s reimagined chip shop classics also include vegan versions of battered sausages, scampi, calamari and chicken nuggets as well as staples like mushy peas, curry sauce and gravy.

A portion of Vish - marinated banana blossom - and chips costs £8.50, while its meaty tasting vegan sosage and chips costs £6.70.

Owner Jessica Jones, who opened the Leeds takeaway in 2019, says that Manchester seemed the logical next big city to expand to and that the concept has been well-received: “We’ve been really busy. Just last week I sold out of a lot of products. It's a shame to sell out and have to close, but I suppose it's a better problem to have than me sitting there twiddling my thumbs because no one wants the food!

“We’ve got a real mix of customers, some who are wanting to introduce more vegan food into their diet and others who are intrigued and are trying it for the first time. So it’s not just vegan or vegetarians, which is nice to see.”

In the current lockdown, Jess felt opting for a delivery-only model was the safest way to expand her business, adding: “I just figured that at the moment, the safest way to try it was to do a cloud kitchen where it's just deliveries. Hopefully, when things go back to normal we’ll look at how we move forward because I do like the customer-facing aspect of the job in Leeds. I like the fact that with a shop you get your regulars and you chat with people. But I didn’t feel opening a shop was responsible at the moment.”

The desire to start a plant-based fish and chip takeaway came after Jess turned vegetarian five years ago. She comments: “Growing up, I’ve always loved fish and chips but when I went vegetarian I couldn’t even get chips from a chip shop because where I am in Yorkshire, most cook in beef dripping.

"It seemed a bizarre concept to me because it's about as vegan as you can get, a potato. I wanted to have access to that kind of food and I thought maybe other people might, too.”

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