Many of you may have heard of or even be customers of Alternatively Vegan . It is a family run vegan restaurant in Pudsey, Leeds owned and managed by Angi Haist. The reviews tell you how great it is and explain why as a new business running for less than 12 months, it is now beginning to thrive.
What you may not know is the story behind it.
Angi’s son Jack started at Huddersfield University in September 2015 but within two weeks he became isolated and depressed and began to self harm. Angi brought him home and he left the university.
By March 2017, Jack’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he tried to take his own life . Thankfully he survived , however after coming out of a coma he was left with a hypoxic brain injury and now struggles with mobility, speech and memory.
Angi left her job with Leeds City Council last year to open Alternatively Vegan and regardless of Jack’s difficulties he volunteers as front of house in the restaurant and is loved by all for his friendly wit and welcoming manner.
In addition to this , Angi has experienced serious personal trauma over the last 3 years which recently ended in a spell in a psychiatric hospital
During this incredibly difficult time Angi and Jack have continued to work hard to make the business the success it deserves be, the food is wonderful, the atmosphere joyous.
However , in June 2019, out of the blue, Angi was informed by Ubrique Investments, the property management company at Huddersfield University, that they had applied for a County Court judgment against her and Jack for the cost of the accommodation , and had been awarded costs of £5,256.04.
Angi has put every penny she earns into her business, consequently her personal finances have suffered. Her creditors will no longer wait for her to take a living wage from her business in order to repay them and as a result bailiffs have been appointed and total costs now amount to £6,808.14 which neither Angi nor Jack can afford to pay .The future of Alternatively Vegan is now very much at risk as Angi faces being made bankrupt for the cruellest of reasons.This is a woman who routinely cooks and delivers hot meals to the street homeless in Leeds, has staged many charity events at the restaurant supporting Samaritans, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, all at great personal cost.
This Christmas she has committed to serving free Christmas Day lunches at the restaurant for those who would others be alone or vulnerable . Sadly she fears that this could be the last time she opens her doors but we do not think that should be allowed to happen, there is just too much to lose.
Angi and her team have provided so much for so many people in need, as well as offering a unique dining experience in the area and Alternatively Vegan has become a huge part of the local community. They are committed to the vegan lifestyle and ethos and everything she does has been with the interests of others at heart.
I’m appealing to you to offer a little support back to Angi and Jack when they really need and deserve it.
So , please , if you can, consider making a donation to help keep this amazing place going so we can enjoy it as it goes from strength to strength and help Angi and Jack put that terrible episode behind them once and for all.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you are unable to make a donation you can still help by sharing this as widely as possible.
Finally, I am neither vegan nor vegetarian , but cannot imagine now being without the amazing food, good coffee and great company that Angi and the team provide.
Please help in whatever way you can