Hextol Tans, Hexham

Finding myself wandering round the cobbled back streets of Hexham – an area I am largely unfamiliar with – trying to find Hextol Tans certainly worked up my appetite to try out the food in this vegetarian café. I wanted to visit after I had read about The Hextol Foundation who run this eatery and the commitment the team have to providing working opportunities to those with learning disabilities or mental health conditions that may act as a barrier to employment.

The Foundation has set up small businesses, like Hextol Tans, in Hexham and in Newcastle to provide job and employability skills coaching. It also offers the staff opportunities to form new friendships and engage in regular social events. As well as the Hexham café there are jobs available in packing and distribution, gardening, decorating, warehousing, cleaning and office administration. As regular readers know I try to support community initiatives, and one that also promotes meat free food is one I naturally wanted to feature on Canny Food.There were a few vegan dishes on offer, like their two Soups of the Day and jacket potatoes topped with beans. I decided upon a Toasted Ciabatta sandwich, which came with Hummus and Roasted Vegetables.I was dining out with my Mum – who ordered their vegetarian Shepherds Pie – and my sister. Lucy went for the Macaroni Cheese, which was served with a side salad.My Mum found her lunch extremely filling and struggled to finish it off. Made with lentils, I was disappointed this wasn’t vegan friendly.With a few adaptations this dish would have been a great option for those who are also dairy free. I was pleased to see gluten free symbols in the cake cabinet but again, the only vegan sweet I could try was a Granola Slice.I took one of these slices home for Mr. Canny. My Mum and sister were going to share some cake, but when they realized the options were limited for dessert decided to give it a miss. I didn’t want them to feel guilty, and during their stay they ate meat and dairy laden desserts in front of me without a care, but on this occasion they showed solidarity 🙂One gentleman who was there at the same time as us seemed to be a regular and was complimentary of the slice of cake he’d enjoyed with his coffee. In a town with chains such as Costa it was good to see an independent like Hextol Tans attracting a brisk trade over the lunch time period. If you find yourself in Hexham it is well worth popping in for a vegetarian lunch.

Thanks for reading,

Pip x

Heard about Refuse in Durham? Read more about this food waste initiative here.

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