About Coco Vegan Bakery
As the name suggests, Coco Vegan Bakery is an online vegan bakery, serving you high quality vegan cakes wherever you are in the UK! We post vegan cakes to all UK addresses, and deliver cakes locally in Southport.
Coco uses high quality ingredients such as coconut sugar and organic flours. We offer gluten free vegan cakes, too.
As our cakes are vegan, they're also dairy free. Some of our cakes are refined sugar free, using only coconut sugar.
The journey to Coco via The Plant Academy:
Coco began as The Plant Academy, a little vegan cafe established in early 2017 by me, Ellie, then aged 24. I have worked in hospitality since I was 14 and had gained a range of experience from serving tables, to working in busy kitchens. I realised there was a gap in the market for high quality vegan food and cake and decided to open up my own vegan cafe, cook the food, brew the coffee, bake the cakes and most importantly look after you lovely lot. At the time we opened, were the only vegan cafe in the whole of Merseyside! The vegan scene has changed a lot since then, and I am proud of our role in that growth.
It was nothing short of madness from the start, we loved you and you seemed to love us back just as much. But our home in Southport Indoor Market just wasn't right and our search from a new home was fruitless. In the summer of 2018 we decided to close. It was an incredibly hard decision because The Plant Academy was one of my greatest loves and I suspect it always will be.
After that I moved to the beautiful island of Anglesey where I worked in restaurant management, most notably managing a vegan pop up restaurant for 6 months on the Island. It was an extremely challenging job which included ridiculously long hours and many many tears - some happy, some sad, some frustrated - but it was one of the greatest growth and learning experiences of my life.
We moved back home to Southport in early 2020, and had just found a tiny studio flat to live in whilst 'getting settled'. I started a job managing a local restaurant and then suddenly Covid started to rear its ugly head in the UK. A week after starting my job we were in lockdown and I was immediately out of work, with hospitality, the industry I'd spent my career this far, suffering it's worst nightmare.
Which leads us to 'the cake plan' - I came up with this plan, to bake to my hearts content, during lockdown. But, unexpectedly stuck in a tiny studio flat with another human and a dog, I couldn't action my plan until September 2020 when we moved to a real life grown up house with a real life actual sized kitchen.
In March 2021, with the prospect of the hospitality industry reopening I decided to sit down with myself and decide if baking was my thing or if I would find other work as society reopened. I realised how much I love business, baking and working for myself - having control over my work hours and having weekends off with my husband. I decided I am all in. This is an opportunity I want to run with and I'm determined to spread the vegan cake love far and wide!
With this I decided to let the name 'The Plant Academy' go. It was bittersweet because it had served me so well over 4+ years! But I wanted to shout across the rooftops: look at me and my cute little vegan bakery that I created!
And so, Coco Vegan Bakery was born. Named after my signature ingredient, the lovely coconut sugar.
Its been a crazy journey so far, and I am so grateful for each and every one of you who has helped me get here! I hope you'll stick around for the next chapter of this adventure.
I always love to know about the human behind the business so I thought I'd share a few fun facts with you so you can get to know the person making your cakes!
As many of you know, I'm Ellie - Hi! - I'm 28 and passionate about living a plant based lifestyle. I live in Southport with my wonderful husband, Andy, and our 6 year old poodle, Peanut.
I've been plant based for about 5 years, but I was actually brought up vegetarian. My dad has been vegetarian for 30+ years and went plant based with me!
When I'm not baking, I love to read and I regularly devour fantasy and romance books. I also enjoy writing and I'm currently keeping myself busy writing a novel... Progress is slow but I enjoy it nonetheless!
You'll usually find me wearing my favourite charity shop or vintage find as I am a big believer in second hand fashion.
I like red lipstick and oat milk lattes.
I have played the flute since I was 5 years old and in 'normal' times I play in a local wind orchestra.
I have two chronic illnesses that I've been diagnosed with in the past couple of years but have suffered with for a long time - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or M.E.) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). They do effect me to varying severities, sometimes it is debilitating, but I'm good at keeping myself healthy and happy.
I have a Masters degree in Religious Studies and wrote my thesis on The Bhagavadgita.
I actually met my best friend on the opening day of The Plant Academy. She was one of my best customers and it turned out we had more in common than loving vegan cake - although eating vegan cake is still one of our favourite things to do when we hang out together.