Meet Yorks newest culinary Remedy for our planet


Emma McGreevy (she/her) interviews the owner of Remedy, Fossgate’s Vegan and Planet Friendly eatery

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Image by Remedy Coffee Shop York

By Emma McGreevy

If you have wandered down Fossgate recently you might have noticed one of its newest editions, Remedy cafe. What makes Remedy stand out from the rest is its plant-based, pro-planet ethos that is proudly advertised on the venue’s exterior. The cafe prides itself on using organic products that are grown in the area, meaning they are packaging free and have travelled fewer miles, making them more planet friendly. An idyllic little venue, Remedy has a warmth and charm oozing from the natural, organic, calm décor and welcoming staff. I spoke to Chris, the “head honcho” as described in a recent Instagram post, to learn more about the quaint, proactive café and wine bar that he proclaims is for “people and the planet”. He also gave some tips on how we can all do our bit to help save the planet.

The interview began with a delicious oat milk latte and a general chat on how the business came to be and what inspired the founder. Chris described himself as always having a positive approach to planet preservation and explains that he has been plant based for as long as he can remember. He studied Environmental Sciences at university and has extensive experience in hospitality, making Remedy an application of the two fields that is grounded in his passion for all things pro-planet. When choosing a location to start the venture, York was at the top of the list as Chris describes it as being generally more receptive to and as having a good engagement with the pro-planet movement. It became apparent that Fossgate was the perfect location; a pretty little street, with fantastic footfall, and even though there is a competitive nature due to the volume of cafes on the street, Chris explained that they offer enough of a ’niche’ that they can easily work alongside the other businesses without tarnishing anyone’s customer base.

Being planet friendly is all about making decisions that are not harmful to the environment or that are trying to help the environment. Remedy contributes to this by having an “all- encompassing approach to the plant” as they have rooted their business in planet friendly hospitality. For example, Chris explained that their fruit and veg is from the organic pantry therefore, it travels as few miles as possible consequently using less energy and minimising the mark on soil type whilst conserving water. A slightly more orthodox but very innovative pro-planet decision is to have their mushrooms grown in a bedroom on Bishopthorpe Road! Keep an eye out on Remedy’s Instagram (@remedycoffeeshop) where there will be a time lapse of the ‘mushrooms’ journey’, following the mushroom from growth in Bishopthorpe to being used as a tasty, and high-quality ingredient in the cafe.

Quality is one of the top priorities for Chris and his team; which is made up of Sam ('the bar manager'), Seb ('the front of house wizard') and Ste ('the kitchen captain'). Making tasty, vegan food that is not just planet friendly but also of excellent calibre is an important part of Remedy café. This is greatly appreciated by customers, however, the high standards mean that the team face challenges that other businesses may not. As Remedy is packaging free they struggle to cater for gluten free customers at times as they have not been able to find a high quality gluten free bread that is local and package free. Chris explains that they are able to provide gluten free bread when it is available to them through alternative methods and that they are always keeping an eye for a high quality, locally produced, planet friendly gluten free option. Another challenge that the team faced was the population’s obsessive love of avocados. Head into any café and there is a 90 percent chance that the vegan option contains some form of avocados. Although this fad can be delicious, Chris explained that avocados use excessive amounts of water to grow and so to keep up with the demand there has been an increase in deforestation and more carbon emissions due to their exportation overseas. To help tackle this problem, Remedy have purposely excluded avocados from their menu, experimenting with more creative vegan recipes and encouraging people to steer away from the avocado trend.

An exciting new venture that Remedy launched at the end of April is their evening wine bar. On Mondays the menu for Thursday, Friday and Saturday are posted for anyone to book. They offer a 3-5 course set menu that is even more inclusive as some of the options are gluten free. Customers have the option to sit, relax and enjoy a glass of organic, locally sourced wine even if they aren’t staying for food. Remedy provides 80 percent British wine, that is all biodynamic and, of course, they serve an entirely plant-based menu. After trying their brunch menu (I had the delicious seasonal pancakes and my friend had the tasty Miso mushrooms on toast) I will most definitely be checking out the wine bar asap!

To finish our chat, I asked Chris to provide some tips for encouraging people to be more pro-planet conscious. The main takeaway was to be more aware of the issue on a daily basis, making lots of little changes like using reusable coffee cups, switching to alternative milk, trying to cut down on using packaging and, over time, it will become second nature. Veganism isn’t for everyone, but time is running out and we all must do our bit to help save our planet. Being knowledgeable is vital and making more of an effort to help each other in efforts to be more planet friendly is crucial.

Thanks to Chris and his team for an informative, fun and fascinating interview.