Longhouse Cafe’s tagline is “Born in Brighton. Created by the Community. Powered By Plants” – an apt motto for Brighton’s newest community coffee spot.
Owned by Chris Evans, the eatery’s 100 per cent plant-based vegan menu includes breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, coffee and cake. Cookies come from Viva Vegan, cakes are bought in from Glazed, and the cheesecake is dairy-free.
So, in a city full of coffeehouses and vegan eateries, what makes Longhouse special? Chris explains: “Everything inside the café has been made by members of the community. Our cups and plates are hand-thrown by a local potter called Mark, our cushions and aprons are made by a local seamstress, our tea is blended independently in Lewes, and our coffee is from Horsham.
“Our way of supporting the community is getting everything made by the community – so we are giving back to our local economy in that respect.”
Chris describes the cosy interior of the cafe as ‘an urban jungle’ – spider plants hang from the ceiling and adorn the shelves. It’s a vibe that customers and staff alike love to hang out in. Chris says: “People love it! Everyone is really getting behind it, which makes it a very warm and friendly environment to be in.”
Pete West, the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, is already a firm fan of the Longhouse. He was down promoting his charity bike ride the day before the Longhouse launch and the café piqued his interest immediately.
He declared the plant-based eatery open about three weeks ago by breaking an organic carrot with Chris – a vegan-tastic alternative to a rope cutting.
“We didn’t have a rope, so I just went and got a rainbow carrot from the fridge,” Chris tells us. “He was down with it! It was pretty funny and made for a great photo.”
In time, Chris plans to use the cafe as a hub for community events and workshops, including post-AA meetups. The idea is to let people who are in recovery meet up in a social setting free from alcohol and cigarettes.
The cafe also plays host to a sketch contest; once a fortnight, the staff choose a sketch left in the venue’s school desks for the lucky artist to win free coffee and social media promotion.
Contact: The Longhouse Cafe, 16 York Pl, Brighton, BN1 4GU, Tel: Facebook