As Liverpool is slowly embracing the vegan lifestyle, more and more vegan businesses are gradually opening up as demand unquestionably grows.
One of these has been The Nakery, who are bringing a new meaning to the word ‘dessert’ with their wholesome, raw, vegan cakes and treats.
Hidden snugly away in Bold Street’s Petticoat Arcade (though I like to call it the Secret Passage), one can expect to find a whole plethora of mouthwatering creations, each made from whole ingredients that don’t just taste good, but do your body good too.
The store has been growing rapidly in popularity ever since its opening, with customers even queuing out of the door to get their hands on some raw chocolatey goodness.
Like anything raw and vegan, I just had to check this place out. I even managed to nail down it’s owner Natalie for a quick chat on some of The Nakery’s key beliefs and mantras – and why the city needs more healthy vegan food places.
How would you describe The Nakery in a few words?
“The Nakery is somewhere you can come to treat yourself to a wide range of raw vegan cakes, all made with nourishing ‘naked’ ingredients.
“A huge amount of the vegan community in Liverpool often tell us how they struggle to find nice desserts – ones that aren’t full of refined sugars and gluten! We had one customer once tell us ‘its like they add more sugar in the cakes because they have taken out the dairy and eggs’ and with a lot of people becoming vegan for health reasons, that was a huge put-off for them.
“All of our cakes are raw and are made without refined sugar, gluten or dairy, so thats what really sets us apart from the rest.”
What kinds of goodies can people expect to find there?
“We offer all sorts from our bars, bites and slabs on the 4 for £12 menu, to our ‘cheesecake’ style cake jars, which come in flavours such as banoffee, chocolate orange, raspberry and peanut butter.
“The cookie dough slabs have always been really popular, as well as the peanut butter jelly bars and salted caramel shortbread bars. We also sell cacao bliss bites and coffee toffee power balls, both of which come with two in a pack so they the perfect snack throughout the day. One for the morning and one for the afternoon!”
What was the inspiration behind The Nakery’s creation? How did it all come about?
“Unfortunately, a lot of the products on the market today are loaded with cheap oils and artificial sweeteners…even the products marketed as ‘healthy’. It was only the other day when I saw a chocolate bar labeled ‘good for you’, and when I took a closer look at the ingredients it actually contained high-fructose corn syrup which has been linked to a huge number of health problems. It is really misleading for the customer and it frustrates me how people can get away with marketing their products as healthy when they contain such ingredients.
“Three years ago when I began creating the business under the name ‘Nat’s Natural Nutrition’ I was looking for a healthier treat made from nutrient-rich ingredients, and unfortunately there was a real lack of choice available and I just wanted to fill that gap.
“When I first started, I never expected it to be as successful as it is today. It looks like there must have been lots of other people in the same boat as me, and everyone loved my treats. At first, we only had a couple of vegan options, but when we opened our shop on Bold Street, we realised the huge demand for vegan cakes so we changed our whole menu to vegan. We then changed our name to ‘The Nakery’, which we believe is very fitting.”
How have the people of Liverpool responded to your delicious raw cakes? Do you think there is a market for more healthy dessert/food places in the city centre?
“The people of Liverpool have absolutely loved our treats. I am still really overwhelmed by the feedback we receive on a daily basis and people still come in and say ‘WOW I am so excited I found you guys’.
“We are getting new custom every day, along with all of our regulars who have been coming to me since day one. It makes me so happy to know that we are providing people with a new concept, something that many people have been searching for for years.
“I definitely think there is a market for more healthy dessert shops in the city centre. When we first opened in July, we were the first shop dedicated to selling healthy cakes in Liverpool and that is such a proud feeling – but its not something we can do alone.
“The demand is really high and we often sell out and have people queuing at our door before we open. I think a little healthy competition is great – (no pun intended) and I look forward to seeing more shops pop up in the future.”
Have you found your customers to be mostly health conscious-types, or has The Nakery been tempting even the most stubborn of cake-lovers?
“I would say maybe 70% of our customers are health conscious, but even the most stubborn of cake-lovers have rated our treats as 5*. This has been really important to us from day one, we wanted to create something that still tasted amazing while being good for you at the same time.
“For instance, when we created the cookie dough, I wanted it to taste like cookie dough. When we created the cheesecake, I wanted them to still hold the same texture and tastes as a real cheesecake. I believe that heathy doesn’t have to be boring.”
What are your thoughts on veganism and/or the vegan community in Liverpool? Do you see The Nakery as part of that community?
“The vegan community in Liverpool is outstanding and is growing so much! I think we are very much a big part of the vegan community in Liverpool now; we recently attended some local festivals including the first vegan Baltic Market and the LABL vegan festival in St George’s Hall and it was great to talk to other businesses within the vegan community.
“I have made lots of amazing friends along the way, and all of the other business owners are really kind and supportive. A lot of the time, people will come into the shop through a recommendation from a friend within the vegan community and then they will share a post linking others to our social media platforms. This has really helped us to get our name out there and we now have an organic following of nearly 10k on Instagram!
“I feel as though, because we have made our whole menu vegan, people within the community really appreciate this and they want to help us be as successful as we can, as we have given something to them, that was never available before. So they want to give back to us.”
What are your hopes for the future of The Nakery and how do you see the business expanding?
“I am really excited for what the future holds for The Nakery. We are already onto our next shop which just opened inside Red Brick Hangar at Cains Brewery Village. There is lots of other amazing stalls there, including a wide array of vintage clothes, furniture, healthy meal plans, a barbers and a make-up studio!
“We are constantly aiming to bring new products out to keep our customers excited, and we will hopefully be adding a postal service very soon so our treats will be available nationwide.”