Despite the rise in veganism a local cheese counter has ‘No current plans’ to stock alternatives

The growth in veganism quadrupled over the span of four years, but Wally’s Delicatessen is in no hurry to explore dairy-free alternatives

30% of the counter is taken up by Welsh cheeses. Image credit: Emily Whitehouse.

Wally’s Delicatessen, in Cardiff’s Royal Arcade, will not be selling vegan cheese even though the number of people converting to veganism is increasing.

The deli opened 74 years ago and stocks cheeses from all over the world, but there are “no current plans” to supply any vegan options, according to one of the managers of the cheese counter, David Richards.

David said during his 40 years there, nobody has shown an interest in wanting to purchase vegan cheese.

He said, ‘’In 2019 we did introduce some vegan cheeses but they weren’t very popular. We have no current plans to go down that route again.’’

The Cardiff-based expert thinks he should stick to selling what his customers will like, for example, the Black Bomber, a Welsh cheese, and long-time bestseller.

However, the demand for vegan alternatives in Wales is increasing.

Chris Powney assisted in opening up the bakery: The Naked Vegan in Cardiff’s Central Market in 2019. He supplies head baker Sarah with all of her plant-based ingredients.

Chris says that even though the bakery opened a year before the pandemic, he has never been so successful.

“I worked as a manager for 30 years at various big companies, but this has given me more success,” he said.

A few months into the business, Chris pitched the idea of selling vegan sandwiches as well as sweet treats. He said the vegan smoked cheese is a huge hit.

After seeing how well the vegan sandwiches sold, the owner of The Cheese Stall, also in the market, has enquired about receiving some vegan alternatives.

A survey, conducted in 2018 by The Vegan Society, found that the number of people turning plant-based in England and Wales had quadrupled in four years: from 0.25% to 1.16%.

It also found the UK’s consumption of vegan alternatives is the highest in Europe.

To read more about the growth of veganism in Wales click here

5 Welsh cheeses you need to try according to David:

  • Black Bomber – a smooth and creamy extra mature cheddar. 
  • Caerphilly cheese – a white crumbly cheese, originally made to provide food for miners.
  • Harlech – this is also a mature cheddar, but includes a hint of horseradish and parsley. 
  • Perl Las – a blue cheese that appears golden in colour and grows saltier the more you eat.
  • Saval – wrapped in a pink rind, the centre of this cheese has a buttery texture but a sharp and tangy taste.