Vegan restaurant co-owned by 'Made in Chelsea' star puts meat on menu to be ‘healthier’ - and sparks outrage

Verity Bowditch and Mikey Pearce (Credit Linda Blacker)Verity Bowditch and Mikey Pearce (Credit Linda Blacker)
Verity Bowditch and Mikey Pearce (Credit Linda Blacker) | Linda Blacker
Diners have been shocked and upset after a vegan restaurant decided to add meat to it’s menu - and the ‘Made in Chelsea’ star which co-founded it has stepped away as a result of the choice too

A vegan restaurant co-founded by a ‘Made in Chelsea’ star has sparked outrage among diners by putting meat on its menu - claiming that it’s “healthier, fresher and better for you”.

Clean Kitchen, a popular eatery chain in London, has marketed itself as “100 per cent plant-based” since it was first opened in 2020. It is co-owned by ‘Made in Chelsea’ star Verity Bowditch - but she has distanced herself from it following on from a recent decision to start serving meat.

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Known for serving only smoothies, earthy acaí bowls, vegan burgers, wraps and fries, the restauranthas now added meat-based dishes to its offering as it apparently looks to attract foodies with all kinds of diets.

The decision has caused chaos, however, as its resulted in backlash from its previously loyal vegan customers and has caused 28-year-old Bowditch, who found fame on the E4 reality TV show, to end her day-to-day involvement.

In a statement, Clean Kitchen said the decision to move away from a completely plant-based menu was “difficult”. The full statement read: “After a tough consultation period we have made a difficult decision, we have opened up our menu to beyond only offering plant-based dishes, effective immediately.

Clean is now opening up our menu to be focused on becoming healthier, fresher and better for you. We will of course still be championing our plant-based classics on our menu. Unfortunately with this change in strategy, Verity has decided to step away from the day-to-day involvement of the business.”

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The chain, which is fronted by the YouTuber Mikey Pearce, announced the move earlier this week to its 33,000 Instagram followers - and many have been horrified. At the time of writing, on the evening on Thursday April 18, it appeared that that post had been removed from the Instagram page, @cleankitchenuk, possibly as a result of the backlash.

People have still made their feelings known on other posts on the page, however. One person wrote: “Shame on you for introducing bits of dead animals and their secretions to your menus, animals who have suffered then had their throats cut. SHAME SHAME SHAME!!!”. Another person questioned: “Is it true, I heard that you are adding inherently cruel animal-based products to the menu?” One more referred to the eatery adding “dirty” items to its menu.

Bowditch has commented on her decision to step away from the business in an Instagram video, calling it “one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make”. In the lenghty post, she said: “Guys… can’t believe I am even writing this. After 3 years of blood sweat tears, & a lot of vegan nuggets, I’ve made the decision to step away from the day to day running of Clean Kitchen. It’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, but it had to be done due to the new direction of the brands strategy.

“Having built Clean in a very strong market, where vegan alternatives were booming, the industry has changed creating more of a demand for whole foods, resulting in us having to evolve as a brand. The economy has also hit the hospitality sector with force, but luckily with you guys supporting us we have been one of the few vegan restaurants to keep charging on! With these two factors in hand, Clean has decided to pivot and add additional items to the menu which aren’t plant based. Opening up to cater for the mass market. I therefore have decided to let Clean continue without my involvement in the day to day running of the business.”

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But, she continued to say that she did not think negatively of the restaurant’s decision, and urged fans to still support the chain. “Super excited to see what Clean has in store for us in the future! I hope you guys can support mine and Cleans decision on this new direction.”

The restaurant’s branches in Battersea Power Station and Camden have been closed while the menu is rewritten. It comes after two of Clean Kitchen’s eateries, in Notting Hill and Soho, suddenly shut down in February. This also lead to anger from fans and staff alike.

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