A vegan café in Sheffield was due to permanently close after increased VAT but was saved by crowd funding started by customers.

Dana Café, Crookes, has struggled with the rise in cost of living which would force them to increase their prices and let go of staff.

Amala Siddhi Silva, owner of Dana Café, said: “We will run out of money and then can’t pay staff or suppliers. We should close and just move on. That’s the sensible thing to do.

“But customers who really love the café tell us to not close because they love it so much and want the café to keep going. That’s when they suggested crowdfunding.”

To be able to pay VAT without crowdfunding, Dana would have had to raise its prices and sell the most expensive flat white in Sheffield.

The threat of closure comes at a time where several Vegan hospitality businesses have also closed down in the area. 

Mr Silva, said: “I’ve spoken to a lot of local businesses in Sheffield and the reason a lot of them are having to close is because VAT doesn’t really work for food businesses.”

“If it wasn’t for Dana I would have to go to other places and it would feel like I’m compromising my values, and I think that’s true for a lot of our customers.

“If there is a business that just does vegan and vegetarian food and has humane values as part of their business, it makes their experience a lot more straightforward for someone who’s trying to live that kind of life.”

Will Brooks, a regular at Dana café, said: “It’s such a shame that so many Vegan places in Sheffield are closing. It really starts to limit choices.”

Mr Silva added that there needs to be more government support for small hospitality businesses.

“There needs to be a policy where VAT has a different policy for hospitality. There’s been campaigns for it because that is what particularly kills a lot of small hospitality businesses.

“There isn’t enough support out there to let small businesses thrive.”

Dana hopes to stay open and give Vegan people in Sheffield a friendly and affordable environment in their local area.