Crosstown Doughnuts is the latest in a slew of London “junk” food brands to make the leap to a dedicated vegan-only offering, announcing it will open Vegan Crosstown on Marylebone’s Picton Place, opposite Selfridges department store, late next month. The new shop will be “dedicated to serving fresh sourdough vegan doughnuts,” alongside speciality coffee, in Crosstown’s now tried-and-true format. Underlining a commitment to an entirely vegan offering, Crosstown’s respected specialty coffee offering will be going milk-free in Marylebone, offering customers only a choice of vegan dairy alternatives.
Crosstown won’t be the first dedicated vegan doughnut shop in London — that gong goes to Hackney’s Dough Society, who Eater met with earlier this month — but its mission statement for the Marylebone site echoes that of others pushing the evolution of vegan offerings across the city. “We want to move away from the misconception that vegan options aren’t as good as ‘the real thing,’” the website states, “and are excited to produce a vegan range of doughnuts for London that are every bit as delicious as their non-vegan counterparts.”
Lauren Watts, of Dough Society, expressed a similar motivation when discussing the origins of her own shop: “I think there’s the reputation of veganism in the past being kind of hippie-ish, and that you can’t eat anything good, or everything has to be super healthy... But not everything has to be raw and sugar-free.”
In advance of the opening, Crosstown will be launching two new vegan doughnut flavours in its existing stores. From Friday 9 to Sunday 11 March, the vegan tropical compote doughnut, with pineapple glaze and coconut chips will be on sale, while the vegan forest fruit compote doughnut, with vanilla glaze and vanilla crumble (pictured) will be available from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 March.
And so, here comes the new normal. As vegan alternatives to every fast, “comfort”, “dirty” or “junk” food offering imaginable continue to proliferate and leave the “E” postcodes behind, so too will the fringe-diet stigma and “fad” label finally start to drop away. With any luck, there’ll come a time where the explicit label will itself become unnecessary, too — there’s only so much sign space that can be dedicated to the addition of “vegan-” prefixes to existing brands before punters get the message.