Ritchie Stainsby and Lauren Nally own Faux, a ‘false’ butchers
Faux opened its doors in Sherwood, Nottingham, today to sell “false” meat, expertly crafted to look, taste, cook and behave how traditional cuts would. However, with its white-tiled wall, measuring scale and “meat” slicer behind the counter, it looks just like a traditional butchers, and Nottinghamshire Live reports, young people have already queued to taste its wares.
But the business has caused debate online, with other members of the community sceptical it’ll work – even in the trendy area near the city centre.
“Humans eating meat is nature,” posted one Facebook user.
“Canine teeth [are] for carnivores,” shared another in a lively argument about the nature of veganism.
Others claimed “faux” businesses like this fail to truly serve their purpose.
One person wrote: “How does this save the environment? Surely, if we was [sic] to stop consuming meat, then fields which animal’s [sic] graze on (because it’s unfit to grow food) would just become new housing estates, and the short fall [sic] of vegetables to feed the country would need to be imported.”
Another added: “Don’t get why anyone who is against eating meat wants to eat things that look and taste of meat.”
One Facebook user even posted: “I [will] avoid going within a mile radius.”
The business looks like a traditional butchers
But Faux’s owners Ritchie Stainsby and Lauren Nally, who have experience at running successful restaurants in the city, believe they offer exciting products, which will be popular.
Ritchie, who with his partner spent seven weeks to refurbish the unit, said: “We’ve had comments that ‘butchery’ has negative connotations but it’s about creating continuity with shops that people know, just a different variety.
“The most exciting product is probably the chicken thigh. It’s got a crispy skin that you don’t usually get with vegan chicken options, and can be cooked in different ways.
“The burgers also cook really well on the barbecue, they get that caramelisation that’s often missing.
“Lots of vegan food is pre-made but we want people to able to have the product, rather than the complete meal and experiment with how to cook with it at home.”
The sandwich menu features a ‘Reuben’ with pastrami, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut, the ‘Spicy Mango’ with brie and mango jam, as well as a ‘Faux Club’ and ‘No Donna’ kebab style sarnie.
The Faux meat products are sold by weight to encourage more sustainable shopping and enjoy the products fresh rather than freezing for later.
Staff will be able to give tips on how to cook the products to recreate your Saturday morning fry-up or Sunday afternoon roast, it is said.
Lauren and Ritchie pictured with the Faux selection of artisan sandwiches
Ritchie added: “We found it hard giving at title to what is essentially a butchers, but just a false version.
“We thought it was a fun way of playing with that, similar to faux fur, or faux leather.”
Lauren said: “We wanted a community feel and nearly everyone is independent here which is really lovely.
“I think people have been thinking more about where they shop and where their products are from as well, particularly in the past year.
“We want to eventually have an online shop and do delivery, and there has been interest from other restaurants so it may start to pop up everywhere.”
Among those who queued to sample the products today were Ellen Beardsley and Mitch Far, who own a coffee shop in the city centre.
Young people queued to try wares from the new business
Ellen, 21 said: “We knew it was opening and it’s been very exciting.
“We’re so proud of what they’ve done.
“I’ve been veggie for about 11 years and am looking forward to just going through the menu. I think it’ll go really well for lunches.
Mitch, 24, said: “I eat meat still but only rarely, but I think this is a great compromise and will help people who are looking for a change.
“I think it’s clever to use the ‘butcher’ concept and don’t see why it would be controversial – people say faux fur and faux leather in the same way.
“The shop looks great and really blends into the high street so hopefully it will mean more people are likely to try it out.”
Dan Storer and Emily Brown, both 28, also said they had been looking forward to visiting.
Emily, 28, said: “We’ve mainly come to try the sandwiches because we’ve seen the pictures.”
Dan, 28, added: “I think this type of thing is definitely more popular now.
“I’m not the biggest fan of the word ‘butcher’ but I can see why they’ve done it and it might actually encourage more people in.”