New cafe on the block: Dana
There’s a new vegetarian cafe and coffee house coming to the city, well to Crookes to be precise. Co-owner Jenny Owen shared with me how Dana came into being and what we can look forward to.
Tell us all about Dana?
We’re a bunch of friends who know each other through Sheffield Buddhist Centre in Walkley. We all got involved for different reasons, Rachel loves cooking and creating delicious vegan and veggie dishes, Dayavajra used to run the Evolution shop in town and wanted to do something different when that closed down. I’ve always wanted to run a cafe, I helped my friend Erica to start the Woodland Coffee Stop in Ecclesall Woods a few years ago while I was still teaching philosophy. Martin left a well paid job in HR to help with the project because he thought it would be fun to all work together creating something up in Crookes for the vegetarian crowd.
Dana means generosity – we’re a not for profit company and all our profits (once we make any!) will go to local charities like the Buddhist Centre and small charities like SAFAR in Crookes.
Everything at the Buddhist centre is free so we want to support them in making that possible. Our setup has been funded entirely by donations and loans from individuals and small organisations, so it really feels like giving is at the heart of it.
What kind of vibe and food will you be offering?
It’s fresh and lively but hopefully relaxing and comfortable in there. We’re keeping our menu fairly basic at first, and focusing on getting what we do the best it can be.
Excellent coffee from Sheffield roasters Forge, delicious tea, a daily soup, paninis (my favourite is the vegan BLT), an Indian platter with bhajis and samosas and dips. Oh and amazing breakfasts… Everything veggie will also have a vegan option (e.g. scrambled eggs or scrambled tofu), and as well as extras like halloumi we have toasted seeds and avocado mash.
We want people to be able to come in and feast, or while away an hour drinking coffees and doing work or meeting with friends.
Are you working with local suppliers? What are your favourite dishes?
Our setup has been entirely done by locals, some have donated their time and skills when they’ve found out what we’ve been doing.
The items on the Indian platter are coming from a woman in Nether Edge who makes them herself. All the bread and cakes are coming from local individual bakers and there’ll be vegan, gluten and sugar-free (tasty!) options.
I’m looking forward to it all, but especially the breakfasts as I love the homemade sausage patties that Rachel’s designed and all the tasty things that go along with breakfast.
When do you open and where can people find out more about you?
We’re aiming for the 16th May as an opening day, but it’s a bit of an unknown quantity at the moment. We’ll announce it on our Facebook page as soon as we are certain and will probably have a grand opening with special offers.
People can find us on Facebook or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do you enjoy eating and drinking in Sheffield?
I went to Pachamama on London Road recently, and was blown away by their mains and puddings. It’s a fairly new place and the best meal out I’ve had in ages.