Popular vegetarian restaurant moves to new premises

Martin Spencer of The Old Courts, with Sue Healy, Rachel Holmes and Eleanor Healy
Martin Spencer of The Old Courts, with Sue Healy, Rachel Holmes and Eleanor Healy

A well-known Wigan vegetarian and vegan restaurant is on the move and looking forward to growing as part of a leading cultural hub.

The Coven is pulling up its roots on Hallgate after more than five-and-a-half years in business with its current leadership to head for bigger premises around the corner at The Old Courts.

Sue Healy and her team have introduced a generation of Wiganers to the delights of plant-based cuisine and have outgrown their premises as more people cut down on meat and dairy in their diet or eliminate them entirely.

The small original eatery closed its doors for good on Saturday and the new place at the Crawford Street community arts venue is expected to open in a few weeks.

Sue said: “The word of mouth support has been great. People expect something like this to be in the Northern Quarter in Manchester, not a small town or the pie capital.

“It was vegetarian when I bought the business but we’ve got right down the plant-based route. This is the time: things are changing and plant-based food is growing massively.

“It’s really hard work but it has been good. It’s about how the place feels.

“It’s the right time because it’s the right place to move to. We’re looking forward to the same lovely customers coming to The Old Courts and hopefully more joining them.”

The business is very much a family affair, with Sue’s mum tending the garden at the back of the Hallgate building and her daughter Eleanor and her boyfriend George Broom now heavily involved as well.

Customers have told Sue she has also helped to swell the expanding ranks of vegans and vegetarians in the area.

She said: “People have said I’ve converted them. I also run cookery classes helping people who’ve made that decision not to eat meat or dairy.

“I don’t stand at the front and lecture but if people want to talk about it I’m quite happy to answer questions and give out information.”

The Coven enjoyed a busy last day in its first spot as in addition to serving its customers it also provided a food stall at Wigan Pride. The team also enjoyed an evening party to mark the end of the era.

The Coven is expected to re-open at The Old Courts early in September. Find out more at www.facebook.com/TheCovenWigan