The owners of a cafe which is inspired by the Little Shop of Horrors have announced that they will not renew the lease but that they plan to party and let off steam. No closing date has been set for Feed Me! Fully loaded, but Joanna and Lee Benfield said it would probably be late fall.
The colorful cafe, in Lilac Crescent, Beeston Rylands, opened in February 2020 and serves vegan junk food like pancakes, loaded hot dogs and desserts with quirky theater and movie names. Posting the news of the closure on Facebook, the couple said it was “after much deliberation”.
They said: “We’ve had an amazing two and a half years and loved sharing our food, fun and creativity with all of you. We’re so proud of what our cafe has become, but with our lease approaching its end point. renewal, we needed to make a decision on our long term plans. While the business is doing well, we are not sure if this is the right thing for us in the long term and we would much rather celebrate what we have accomplished and conclude in style!
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“We want to say a big thank you to all of our customers who have made Feed Me! Fully Loaded what it is today. We also have to thank our INCREDIBLE team, Eleanor, Hester, Lucy, Martha and original gang member , Ali who gave life to our house.
You will still have a few months to enjoy our dishes, as we are aiming to close at the end of the fall (exact date to be confirmed). Over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you more closure details and keeping an eye out for all the fun stuff we have planned until the end.
“We don’t plan on taking it easy and hope you all continue to support us over the coming months. Come celebrate our creative little cafe while you can and if you haven’t been there already, you You better hurry!”
Joanna, who trained in musical theater and previously worked as a performer at Alton Towers, was a school administrator when she started developing vegan recipes and tested them at Sneinton’s vegan market before opening the cafe – just weeks before the UK went into lockdown at the start of the Covid pandemic.
The cafe serves dishes inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dr. Seuss and Tots TV, including Augustus Gloop’s Stack of Chocolate Chip Pancakes, One Fish, Two Fish bagel topped with smoked salmon-style carrots and Tilly, Tom and Tiny fried tater tots loaded with vegan fillings.
A decadent dessert for four to share with mud pie, cookies and ice cream is called The Ralph, after Joanna’s 110-year-old grandfather Ralph Hoare, who was the third man the oldest in the country when he died in 2019. Whenever asked about the secret to a long life, the RAF veteran, who lived in Gloucestershire, would reply “golf, gardening and sugar”.
The couple said they don’t sell Feed Me! Fully loaded, but looking for a company or person to take over the property with the equipment included. They added that it has low rent and a large vegan following.
Customers are saddened by the closure. Customer Susan Hart said: “It’s such a shame. Your food is fabulous. Hope you sell it to someone who shares the same passion for vegan food.”
Another said: “This is terrible news! Yours is a place where you can count on great vegan food consistently, cheaply and with a great sense of fun. We will miss you very much.”