Birmingham Vegan Fair at Carrs Lane Church

Today was the first ever Birmingham Vegan Fair. It was hot, very full and great fun! Anyone paying attention will know that the West Midlands Vegan Fair is held in Wolverhampton in October. So while they are regular local events, in Kings Heath, for example, this truly was the first ever central Birmingham Vegan Fair.

Crowded Birmingham Vegan FairBefore anything else, I should mention that these events are made possible by loads of volunteers, chipping in and helping with the organising and running. So a huge well done to them all. The handing out of samples to passersby is one way to drag people in off the street, who might miss it otherwise.

Food, cosmetics, skin care and animal welfare

All of these were catered for on 50 or so stalls – at a guess. There were some old faves and others. These events are great for chatting to decent, like-minded people. Of course, you get to meet up with old friends too but new is so often inspiring.

Beet the System

Beet the System at Birmingham Vegan Fair
Beet the System at Birmingham Vegan Fair

We arrived starving, having driven up from Essex. The queue for Change Kitchen was massive so we skipped it and went to Beet the System. To be honest was where I wanted to go anyway. Later on, though I had a hot dog from Change.

I can’t remember the exact name of what we had but we shared a Vietnamese tempeh wrap and a Jerk Tofu sandwich, in french stick. I love the Beet the System homemade tempeh. It’s always so much nicer than the frozen stuff. There is no comparison, in fact.

Today, these were served with salad and dips; coconut on the jerk and nut something on the Vietnamese. Apologies for not getting this right but LUSH springs to mind.

The highlight of this food is the different flavours that stand out, rather than simply mush together. Vegan food is so varied and so delicious.

I’m a Beet the System tempeh fan and bought some tofu and tempeh to take home. Two days tea sorted!

Pulsin & Tall Poppy

Tall Poppy Foods will be opening up in Selly Oak very soon. They had cupcakes but what was really interesting was the soursop burgers. For anyone that doesn’t know oursop is a superfood extraordinaire that is reckoned to cure cancer and all sorts. Ten thousand times more effective than chemo, apparently!

Tall Poppy at Birmingham Vegan Fair
Tall Poppy at Birmingham Vegan Fair

They were giving out tasters of their soursop burger. It’s a burger in the loosest sense, but it is delicious, sweet and spicy and tangalicious! I’m impressed and WILL be popping down for the real thing once they get going. Also, excitingly, they will be stocking their own, organic, virgin coconut oil, imported from Thailand themselves. That news alone is worth turning up for!

Pulsin at Birmingham Vegan Fair
Pulsin at Birmingham Vegan Fair

Pulsin are a small company that Ben, Nick and Simon set up after knocking up some energy bars as students. They also do the Beond bars which are fantastic. As usual natural organic ingredients provide a gorgeous, intense flavour experiences. And these are certainly that. Raw food rocks.

I had a good chat with the people here and will be keeping in touch.

The Apprentice at Birmingham Vegan Fair

Well the very first Birmingham Vegan Fair very nearly got the apprentice. Tropic Pure Plant Beauty was set up by Apprentice contestant Susan Ma and backed by LAS despite not winning the show. So what?

Well the so what is that all the Tropic products contain pure plant ingredients and no parabens and other rubbish. Of course, if you’re happy to smear crap all over yourself then do so. But as a vegan I’m interested about what I put inside my body. I like to know what the ingredients are, that is normal and a reasonable question. An extension of that is wanting only the best ingredients.

Tropic Pure Plant Beauty at Birmingham Vegan FairThey have all kinds of lovely products, with all kinds of essential oils included. In the picture, there’s a hand scrub and cleanse going on. This was deemed too much hassle although the results were spectacular.

So, instead, Jo bought the skin revive moisturiser – what is that? Well this is

a concentrated face cream packed to bursting with vitamins anti-oxidents, pure plant actives that intensely nourish, for instantly smooth, soft and radiant skin.

This product is appealing because of the list of ingredients, which are in plain English. These are followed by their INCI equivalents! That’s all the longer chemical names. Of course, there’s no sign of parabens and suchlike. Joy was a lovely lady and very enthusiastic about her products. She said it was so nice to be somewhere full of people who care about what they smear over and put inside their bodies! Here’s a link to Joy’s Tropic Pure Plant Facebook page.

Smearing chemicals into your skin is a bad idea. This company ensure you’re only smearing natural, good stuff. Great. There were other stalls with similar natural smearables too.

Trishul Raw Chocolate

She’s been at it again, experimenting… And more Trishul chocolate success! I’ve just had a cup of tea and a Macadamia,Baobab and Quince pyramid. As usual amazing and evidence that raw, organic choccy treats are simply mind-boggling.

Trishul Raw Chocolate at Birmingham Vegan Fair
Trishul Raw Chocolate at Birmingham Vegan Fair

These just explode flavour one after the other. Quince is zingy and the nuts are stunning. These are going to be rare as the ingredients are so expensive. That’s the beauty of Trish’s chocs absolutely no skimping on quality. In fact, the quality is actually always improving. Trish is moving away from agave as much as possible and using yacon instead. This boosts the superfood quotient yet again!

You’re too kind to us Trish, keep up the great work.

Oh, but before leaving another Vegan Fair Trishul love-in, I need to mention the Black Velvet Cheese Fake. In fact, I need say no more than get some before you die. This is raw food at it’s very intense best – pecans, dates and avocado, and all organic. Amazing!

 The Vegetarian Guide networking away…

The bloke from Vegetarian Guides, who compiles these local info books is a true pro and keen to use the Birmingham Vegan Fair as a chance to spread his network of contacts. It’s all part of the plan to keep the guides as current as possible. We got talking and I was able to help him out with some updates to Birmingham and Essex.

I first bought a guide to London for my brother when he first moved there. We were on our way to a football match and stopped en route at one of the recommended places. There’s now over 200 Veggie entries in the London edition. Brilliant, stellar work. These guides really are worthwhile and are always being updated.

Any complaints about the first one?

Quite often the organisers get a bit of stick as usually suffer from a lack of space. The first Birmingham Vegan Fair was a bit squashed at times and I’m sure the stalls could have done with a little more space. It was the first one after all. Difficult to gauge interest and all that.

But it was very smooth from a visitors point of view, great stuff at lots of stalls with some brilliant people to chat to. Although a bit more seating would help. We had a  great time, bumped into some great people and ate some great vegan food. Also, importantly, some uninitiated Brummies have been introduced to some great vegan stuff. Well done Birmingham Vegan Fair organisers, let’s have another one!

3 thoughts on “Birmingham Vegan Fair at Carrs Lane Church”

  1. That moisturiser is really lovely! And Trishul’s chocolates were a great accompaniment to Andy Murray winning Wimbledon.

  2. PS, I forgot to say that Beet The System’s tofu and tempeh are the nicest I have ever tasted. Particularly the tempeh which does not have that the after taste I complain about with the other commercially produced versions.

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