Meet the Black Boris.
This York-made vegan sausage was launched to the world on the day Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.
“Initially I was considering a Viking slant for the names so prefaces Black and Fire sounded good,” Kath added. “Then for some reason I thought of the names Boris and Donald…”
But the new PM won’t be getting an invitation to taste his namesake in York because, says creator Kath Cox, “These are honest sausages.”
And she’s mindful of the PR backlash which engulfed North Yorkshire sausage firm Heck when they invited Mr Johnson to visit them during his election campaign to become Conservative leader.
Kath professed she was “a bit baffled” by the #BoycottHeck campaign which followed, saying: “If Boris decided to wear a string of sausages, what can [Heck MD Andrew Keeble] do about it? I’m only too aware that it could be me at the innocent end of a storm in future!”
Instead she is already getting positive PR: the development chef at a leading Michelin-starred restaurant says he loves Black Boris and the rest of Kath’s products.
“We can’t identify that source, but he told me that cooking brought out the flavour of the bangers,” Kath said, “and commenting on the quality of some other vegan products, said ‘it’ll be nice to actually get something good’.”
Fresh, tasty, healthy
Kath, 52, of Cherry Street near Bishopthorpe Road, runs a landscaping company with her husband.
But as the former owner of a deli in Edinburgh she has a good understanding of the premium, artisan sector of food retailing.
So in June she started Stoots, creating vegan foods in her kitchen.
Kath told YorkMix:
One of my sons is a meat-eater, the other is vegan, his girlfriend doesn’t eat gluten and my husband can’t eat dairy cheese – bit of a culinary nightmare!
This domestic challenge inspired to create some fresh, tasty, healthy, plant-based, gluten free foods that we could all eat.
Although she is not a vegan “I enjoy and appreciate all the benefits of a largely plant-based diet”.
Each is hand-made
The sausages are only one of the Stoots range. Also on offer are Herby Dippit and Smokey Dippit – nut-based cheeses, fermented with a probiotic.
And now they are all for sale in Stoots’ first outlet: The Good Food Shop on Bishy Road.
“Carol, the owner, has been fantastic and is letting me use her premises to manufacture the bangers and cheese out-of-hours,” Kath said.
Stoots Bangers are available in pairs – 100g for £6. Each one is hand-made and hand-tied so Kath can currently only make 100 a day.
“I’m hoping there will be plenty of interest and just ask that anyone who is interested can please be patient while I scale-up production!”
What are her hopes for the future of the business?
It would be wonderful to develop a brand that’s known for honest, high quality, plant-based food, that will, in a small way, help drive reduced meat consumption.
In the world of vegan sausages, Boris is premier.