Green Kitchen on veganism, Brighton and the Living Wage

Here at the Brighton & Hove Living Wage campaign, we are very lucky to be in the company of some wonderful businesses. One such business is vegan café Green Kitchen on Preston Road – a five minute walk from our office at Brighton Chamber. The Chamber team are regulars. Between us we have been working our way through the vibrant menu of salads, wraps, sandwiches and hot food, purchasing a vegan salted caramel brownie on more occasions than we care to admit.

When we found out the business was a Living Wage employer we were really pleased. The hospitality sector is often low-paid, so it is especially heartening to see Green Kitchen take this step and make the pledge. We had a chat with them about their business approach.

Who are you and what do you do?
We are Catherine and Katie, owners of Green Kitchen Vegan Café on Preston Road in Brighton.

Why have you committed to paying the Living Wage?
We feel that it’s only fair. The cost of living in Brighton is high, so wages should reflect this. Staff are a real asset and paying the Living Wage helps us to attract and retain great team members.

What’s different about owning a business in Brighton?
I always think of Brighton as existing within its own little bubble; everything’s a bit different here! It’s a vibrant city and we have a really varied customer base – people of all ages and from all walks of life. Our customers often end up chatting to each other which is really nice and very typical of Brighton. In some ways being in Brighton makes what we do really easy but on the other hand, we’re in a city with probably the best vegan scene in the country, so we have to work very hard to keep customers interested and most importantly happy!

Why is team morale and wellbeing so important?
Staff are a real asset and good staff make your life a lot easier! If people are happy in their roles, it will show and this is really important when it comes to customer service. We work very much as a team, making sure that everyone feels supported. A very busy café can be quite a stressful environment to work in, so it’s important to check in with each other, help out and of course make the all important cups of tea for each other when required! A happy team works much better together.