The Instagram logo

Purveyors of fine vegan mac 'n cheeze and kombuchas to die for

Suma, the market's democratic co-operative that will delist a product if it so much as hints at being unethical, celebrated Organic September with a new range of organic kombuchas – "ethically sourced, plant-based and totally delicious".

With 211 people and no fancy titles, plus 88 fixed-term workers who help out in the warehouse during busier periods, Suma is an equal pay wholefood collective founded in 1977 by a liberally-minded group of people who believed there was a better way to do business.

They struck on a great formula because today Suma is stronger than ever.

"We stock a range of 2000 of our own sustainable and ethical products and deliver over 7000 vegan and vegetarian, natural, responsibly sourced products to businesses and communities across the UK and internationally," says co-op member Sophie Ziegler-Jones.

"We are one of the largest co-operatives of our kind in Europe, working together and bound by principles which aim to improve our society and support our suppliers and customers."

Take the new Kombuchas for example. Traditional Ginger, zingy Peach and Turmeric and fruity Strawberry and Raspberry are craft brewed "just around the corner in Yorkshire" using traditional methods with no artificial sweeteners, says another co-op member, product developer Nigel.

"They're 100% vegan and sparkling with a billion kombucha cultures," he says proudly. "They're perfect served chilled straight from the can or mixed with other ingredients for a tasty cocktail. A sparkling alcohol-free fizz, it's the perfect celebratory beverage when you want all the flavour but none of the booze.

"The supplier impressed with their artisan and traditional methods to combine an ancient product with a modern twist. When choosing the flavours, it was key to cater for three distinct markets – traditionalists, the health conscious and those new to Kombucha. I think we have managed this!"

All Suma branded products are tested on members before they are released "into the wild". Organic September will have proved it a big hit with old and new customers.

Another winner is Suma's vegan tinned Mac 'N' Cheeze, which won the Vegan Food & Living silver award for the Best Vegan Ready Meal earlier this year.

It's a delicious coconut-based alternative that's as rich and satisfying as traditional macaroni cheese. Made with scrumptious vegan 'cheeze' and packed with pasta pieces, it's a tinned product from the co-op's extensive range of canned convenience meals.

In the words of one of the expert judges, "I had to put my fork down and take a moment to appreciate how good this tasted. Stunningly good. A real unexpected 'wow' moment that made you soon forget that this is in a tin."

Sophie summarised: "It's fantastic to receive recognition for this innovative product which aims to make an easy, good quality macaroni cheese available to vegans, people with a dairy intolerance or anyone who wants to reduce their dairy consumption."

T: 01422 313848
E: [email protected]

Read more articles from our latest issue...