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First vegan restaurant turns one

Cardiff’s first and only vegan restaurant is thriving one year after opening. Anna Loka, on Albany Road, celebrated its first birthday on the 18 August and now a few months later it’s still going strong.

The owner of Anna Loka, Adam El Tagoury, had clear motivation for opening his niche establishment: to better accommodate vegans in Cardiff. This was in keeping with the philosophy of his Hare Kirshna religion.

This kitchen religion is embodied in Anna Loka’s cooking too. All their meals are freshly cooked and made from organic, locally sourced produce.

Adam was previously the owner of three bakeries in Wales, but Anna Loka became a passion project after he went on a soul searching adventure in India. Mr El Tagoury stands by his belief, that it’s not just a restaurant it’s a community. He has extended his restaurant’s scope to include an array of events such as thought provoking film nights, chocolate making workshops and a session on producing hand-made soaps.

However, the plans don’t just stop there. In the next year, there are plans for expansion starting with a garden area which will open in December (just in time to get the mittens out). Adam aims to make the area cool and trendy. He also plans to open a yoga studio, which will provide another relaxation space.

Anna people

Although this is the only dedicated vegan restaurant in Cardiff, The Vegan society are positive about what other restaurants are offering.

Jimmy Pierson, spokesperson for The Vegan Society says, “it makes clear commercial sense to cater for vegans. It opens their potential market up to not only half a million vegans, but also to a million more vegetarians, the huge number of meat and dairy reducers, the lactose intolerant, and others who simply enjoy vegan food from time to time.”

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