They say that curiosity killed the cat, but that satisfaction brought it back. That same satisfaction is what has kept this small, yet modest community shop going since 1981. 

Known for its atmosphere and friendliness, this small social enterprise sandwiched between a tattoo studio and an interior designer shop is the essence of community retail.  If this shop were an animal, it would be on the endangered species list, as it’s the type of shop/employer that used to exist once upon a time. Currant Affairs are experts at what they do, knowledgeable about what they sell and to top it off they even know your name!

Located in The Lanes, the oldest shopping quarter in the midlands, Currant Affairs’ offering is “really good home cooked food, which just so happens to be Vegan.”  Ruth Copeland (Managing Director at Currant Affairs) tells me how they “just do good food, and not food politics,” and I can certainly vouch for that.

Like many of their customers, I first heard about Currant Affairs via word of mouth. A work colleague suggested I go explore this delightful shop, and being an adventurer, I obliged. As a meat eater, it was my first time exploring a 100% vegan shop.  The variety and the range on offer surprised me. The shop offered all kinds of products, such as sauces, a range of chocolates and sweets, frozen pies, ice cream, cakes, all types of flour and even household products. Whilst exploring the shop, the fast food counter goodies were winking at me, so I treated myself with a chocolate brownie.  When in Rome, right? A little sceptical about how this vegan brownie might taste, I tentatively took a little nibble, swiftly followed by a large bite and before I knew it the Trojan horse was gone.  Hand on heart; I would go so far to say that it was the best brownie I have ever eaten.  The chocolate flavour was on point, clearly indicating that best quality of ingredients had been used, and the texture with soft and chewy. It was quite simply the perfect brownie in my opinion.

Currant Affairs is more than just a shop, as can be seen by their cosy kitchen on the first floor. Ninety per cent of food items sold are made on site, by their dedicated and hard working team.  The other ten per cent of items are sourced from small local independent suppliers, including Bitsy Emporium, Chocoholic and a close guarded supplier known as ‘their secret magic samosa man.’  My personal favourite products include the aforementioned brownie, as well as their smoked tofu, which I love having fried in a toasted sandwich with rocket and chipotle chilli flake mayonnaise. Also, insider scope, Ruth shared that the best sellers at Currant Affairs include their ‘Cherry Cake’, ‘SOS Roll’ and their ‘Cheese and Onion Pasty’ that has the Senior Kitchen Manager’s, secret blended recipe.  (We love your pasties Ben!)

In summary, whether you’re vegan, veggie or curious, with so much delicious food available,  I implore you to pop by and try the fabulous wares of Currant Affairs.  I assure you, that will not be disappointed, and satisfaction will bring you back time, and time again.

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Tamara O’Donovan is a food buff and wine enthusiast. Having managed multiple fine dining restaurants her standards are high. She spends her time seeking out new exciting restaurants and independent eateries.

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