Hendersons is a well-established Edinburgh vegetarian haunt, which over the last few years has grown arms and legs, most notably with it’s restaurant on St Giles Street.
The Fountain spoke with Barrie Henderson, General Manager of Hendersons about this expansion and some events that they have coming up over Fringe season.
TF: Hendersons has a long standing history in Edinburgh. Can you tell us a little about that history and how the restaurant has evolved over time?
Sure, Hendersons was established by Janet Henderson, in 1962 as an outlet for selling healthy vegetarian food in the Edinburgh new town. She was passionate about organic fruit and vegetables and simple food made from local quality ingredients. In the decades that have followed we have always tried to keep to the core values of healthy and wholesome vegetarian and vegan foods.
TF: And you don’t just have your one branch in Hanover St, you now seem to be dotted about the town?
That’s right, in 2014 we opened Hendersons Vegan on Thistle Street, our first fully vegan restaurant, and in 2015 we opened Hendersons Holyrood, next to The Scottish Parliament, and on Hanover Street we have our Shop & Deli as well as our Salad Table restaurant downstairs which is open from 8am and has live music every night.
TF: Where is your most recent branch and do they all differ from each other?
This summer we have also just opened a new 50 seater table-service restaurant on St Giles Street, just of the Royal Mile, which is located in part of the beautiful Fraser Suites building. It overlooks the Mound and we are really enjoying being in Edinburgh’s Old Town and serving a new menu with a mix of classic Hendersons dishes and newly developed options.
TF: You are not only different in that you specialise in Vegan and Vegetarian food. You also host events don’t you? What have you organised previously?
We do organise different things regularly which are fun for us and for the customers. In the past we have done pop up beach side supper clubs at Portobello, and we do vegan street food stalls at markets and vegan food festivals. Last year we also organised a mass vegan BBQ in the meadows that in Buzzfeed’s Top Ten Edinburgh Fringe highlights. Throughout the year we do on-location events, weddings and special menus with new seasonal dishes. You can keep up to date by following our Facebook pages and Instagram accounts.
TF: What events have you coming up?
Well this Saturday we have a new event that we are excited about which is the Vegan Daybreaker. It starts at 7am and combines yoga, dancing and a vegan breakfast feast. It is based on the popular daybreaker morning events, which are like a sober party event, where people come together first thing in the morning to dance and have fun, and then finish and get on with the rest of their day. We are combining this with healthy vegan food and a yoga session and people seem very excited about it. You can find out more information on our Facebook event page here.
TF: What’s next for Hendersons?
Well, we are focusing on improving customer experience in all of our sites and continuing to develop our menus to represent vegan and vegetarian food trends, but also stay true to our core values. Our main strength is definitely the passionate team behind Hendersons and we are very engaged in making the place a success; to grow and develop it in the future and promoting healthy sustainable vegetarian food, just as Janet Henderson did in 1962.
Vegan Daybreaker takes places at the Hanover Street Hendersons from 7am on Saturday 12th August.