Cambridge Edition August 2020 - WEB


THRIVE Cambridge’s vegan dining options are expanding all the time, with the likes of Vegan Vice, Doppleganger and Wandering Yak all doing a roaring trade and demonstrating just how interesting (and delicious!) vegan food can be. The latest plant-based enterprise to join their ranks is Thrive, which occupies the three-storey building on the corner of Norfolk Street and East Road that used to house CB2. The cafe and bistro, which opened its doors in July, is a passion project for a group of five friends who met through a love of vegan food and coffee. “We’ve got quite a wide mix of skills and backgrounds in business and hospitality, and we knew that we had a shared vision and wanted to create somewhere nice to connect with

room with a stage, an outdoor terrace, plus ‘The Hive’ – a bright and peaceful studio at the rear of the building which the owners envisage being used for yoga classes and meetings. Food-wise, you can expect a tempting assortment of vegan bakes, such as homemade jaffa cakes and white chocolate-marbled flapjacks, plus cold brews, kombucha and Hot Numbers coffee to drink, and a range of meals. “The menu will change quite frequently, but right now, for example, we’ve got tofish and chips with minted mushy peas, which has been our bestseller so far. In fact, somebody said yesterday that we did the best chips this side of Wells-next-the-Sea harbour!” grins Jeremy. “It’s kind of very easy street food, so we’ve also got deep- fried oyster mushrooms with garlic and thyme sauce, and onion bhaji fries, that kind of thing, and we’ll almost always have a pasta dish on. All the ingredients come from local businesses, and that’s really important to us.” There are also oodles of gluten-free options, and plans for a new brunch menu on the horizon, while longer term, Thrive has ambitions of becoming a hub of the community, hosting a variety of events and adapting its offering to best serve the people of Cambridge. “This is a long game we’re playing,” concludes Jeremy. “The five owners have all put a lot of money and time and creativity into this, and we don’t expect a fast buck, but it’s all about delivering on the vision that we have: to create a place for people to connect in. The response so far has been fantastic, and we want to keep evolving and responding to what people want.”

people over good food, where no animal products are used,” says Jeremy Peters, one of Thrive’s founders. “Two or three of us were regulars at CB2 for many years. It’s such a prominent location and there’s loads of space and it’s really flexible. But it’s also next to the Full Circle shop, which we’re big fans of – so we now have an opening between the two shops, and also with [vintage clothing store] Serpentine Swap, and we all share a similar ethos: we all want to reduce the impact on the environment.” The team has given this beautiful 160-year-old building a complete overhaul, creating a fresh new look with the help of local creatives and craftspeople, plus much greenery from Darwin Nurseries. Along with three floors of cafe, there’s a basement


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