World Vegan Month couldn't have started better for a small cafe just off the main drag in the center of Truro in Cornwall.
Just two years after opening its doors, The Cornish Vegan beat traditional cafes and tearooms in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to take top honors at the 17th Cornwall Tourism Awards.
It's been quite a special year for owners Paul and Dawn White so far. The Cornish Vegan celebrated its second birthday back in September, serving over 24,000 customers in that time, and November 1 marked the 22nd anniversary of their meeting at the top of New York's Empire State Building.
And the winners are ...
On November 1 this year, the Whites sat patiently and nervously among the 398 guests invited to attend the Cornwall Tourism Awards 2018/19, which was held at the ornateTruro Cathedral in the heart of Cornwall.
It's taken judges seven months to trawl through entries across 26 categories, including Best Cafe/Tearoom in Cornwall.
Newlyn's Duke Street Cafe was awarded Bronze, St Mawgan Tea Room in Newquay took Silver, but Gold went to The Cornish Vegan.
For vegans - and non-vegans
"We have always aimed to provide food that both vegans and non-vegans alike will enjoy," an overjoyed Dawn White told Plant Based News.
"So to be recognized as the best among the hundreds of cafes around Cornwall is a huge boost not only to vegan food, but to the vegan movement.
"Let’s hope it encourages more non-vegans to give vegan food a try."
A vegan treasure in the heart of Cornwall
Visitors to The Cornish Vegan can look forward to vegan cream teas, a mini platter comprising sourdough breads served with in-house hummus, banana blossom 'fish' and chips, TLT (Tofu, Lettuce and Tomato) sandwiches, a lentil, mushroom and walnut burger served in a soft bun and fried 'chickin' strips on the side. Cakes, brownies and raw energy balls are on offer, too, as well as various coffee, tea, juices, soft drinks and a selection of beers, ciders and wines.
The Cornish Vegan is also an outlet for other businesses in the region, such as The Little Green Vegan Bakery, Newquay Fruit Sales, Oliver's Olives, Cornwall's Chocolate Cove, Baker Tom's and Espress Test.
Award winners will now be entered in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards, to be held in Bristol in February 2019.