Case Study: Surrey Vegan Fair 2017

Surrey Vegan Fair
Wells Room

On Saturday 13th May 2017 we were excited to hold the Surrey Vegan Fair here at H.G. Wells.  

Surrey Vegan is collaboration between business partners Steve Swindon and Louise Simpson. Their vision is to provide a community where people can get together, to educate people how to make the transition to veganism and to support them on their journey.

 The term “vegan” was coined in 1944 by a small group of vegetarians who broke away from the Leicester Society to form the Vegan Society. These people chose not to consume dairy, eggs or any other products of animal origin, in addition to not eating meat like the vegetarians. Therefore, they felt the need to form a society that better represented their views. The term vegan was chosen by combining the first and last letters of the word vegetarian. Veganism was originally defined as “the principle of emancipation of animals from exploitation by man”.

 In 1979, the Vegan Society became a registered charity and updated that definition. Veganism is currently defined as a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty whether it is for food, clothing or any other purpose.

Preparation started early here at H.G. Wells as the many stall holders set up and filled our Wells Room to capacity. The atmosphere was electric and the room was consistently packed from the moment the doors opened at 10am with 500-600 people attending.

Peter Egan, actor and fellow vegan, gave an uplifting opening address which set up the day for a list of inspiring speakers’ who regaled attendees with their stories in our Griffin Room, finishing with a useful question and answer session.

Whether you are Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescetarian or Omnivore there was something for everyone. There was a positive plethora of smells and tastes wafting around the Wells Room as guests tucked into Caribbean vegetable patties, stroganoff, hotdogs, artisan “cheese”, doughnuts and curious cupcakes such as a “peanut butter and jelly” cupcake that didn’t contain any peanuts but tasted just as good!

Aside from the many delicious food stalls there were also ones which offered everything from cruelty free make up, beauty products, skincare, uber cool clothing brands, household products, soy candles, pet services to even a Dating App for herbivores!

It was clear from a highly successful fair that the vegan movement is growing at a fast pace and contrary to popular belief the food options were a far cry from grass or twigs! It is difficult to argue with the philosophy of eating fresh healthy food that nurtures the body as well as the environment particularly when it tastes so good! Also who would have thought there is a delicious vegan alternative to Baileys liquor or that they would go home with a handbag made of cork!

Although to all intent and purposes it was a room full of strangers, it certainly felt like a big vegan family that had come together to share their wares with like minded individuals and to give us “non vegans” an insight into a world that is looking ever more appealing.

Comments from stall holders as they arrived were wow, what a great venue and room. They loved it. People who visited loved it. The vibe and atmosphere was great because people were happy from the moment they arrived. So overall it was a brilliantly executed event and I would like to thank you and your team for all your efforts in helping make it a success and definitely look forward to working with you next year. Louise Simpson - Surrey Vegan
– The vibe and atmosphere was great becasue people were happy from the moment they arrived.