Partnership brings vegan food to Sheffield Hallam’s campus
Sheffield Hallam University’s catering team has partnered with a local vegan food company, Vigour Vita to offer a range of plant-based ready meals to staff and students on the university’s campus.
The couple behind the vegan food company is Dilesh and Jennifer Peiris, who originally approached the university to promote their products.
Dilesh said, “As ardent food lovers we were keen to pass on our passion for vegetables to our daughter who was growing up in an environment where more people are becoming aware of the importance of having a majority of plant-based food items in their diet.”
Their foray into the vegan food industry began as they were trying to get their daughter to enjoy a variety of vegetables in interesting and tasty dishes.
The couple then decided to share these dishes with others and ventured into building their vegan food company.
Catering operations manager at Sheffield Hallam, Darren Procter said that the team was impressed by the food and formulated a plan that would allow the university to expand its vegan offering while helping Vigour Vita grow as a business.
“After initial discussions, it became clear that there was an opportunity to utilise space and resources at the university to provide a more stable base for the business and a chance to increase their output,” explained Procter.
Local vegan food firm, @VigourVita, has seen their business grow after basing their kitchen at Sheffield Hallam, as part of a unique partnership with the University’s catering team. 🥦🍅🌶️👉https://t.co/5Yo1pW99E8 pic.twitter.com/UDXAzI5FcQ
— SHU Press Office (@SHUPressOffice) February 19, 2020
Since the commencement of its operations in the university’s Stoddart building, the company has also begun supplying organic shops in Sheffield, Chatsworth House and the University of Sheffield as well as at catering outlets across the university.
Commenting on this expansion, Jennifer said that this partnership has had a very big impact on the business.
“It gives us a space to try out new recipes and a base to expand but by supplying a university, it gives potential clients the knowledge that our products are of high quality and delivered with a high quality of food safety and health and safety compliance,” she added.
Dilesh added that the company was built on sustainability and a drive to give back to the community as its foundation.
He said that the company ensures that the fruits of the coconut and jackfruit tree that is used in their products are harvested without causing damage to the tree. This, he says enables the trees to produce fruit for generations to come.
Dilesh also added that the company shares its profits with the Salsevana Children’s Home in Sri Lanka which gives 25 young orphaned girls under the age of 18 care and support.