By Laura McLean
An East Perth bakery is set to become the first in Western Australia to stop using animal products.
Darrington’s Patisserie opened its doors on Newcastle Street in Leederville last year, specialising in gluten-free products.
But to better align the business with the owner’s beliefs, Zachary Darrington has gone a step further to switch to only vegan products.
“My partner and I are already vegan. We had to ask ourselves, ‘if we aren’t eating this stuff, how can we morally continue to sell it?’ So we decided to promote what we believe in,” he said.
Despite the vegan movement suffering a recent media backlash, Darrington feels positive about how his customers will react to the change.
“We’ve had a huge boost in popularity after announcing the switch. We’ve gained a lot of new customers already and have got a lot of our existing customers openly thinking,” he said.
Murdoch University associate lecturer in Strategic Communications and researcher of ethical stakeholder engagement, Deborah Williams, believes the transition will reap rewards for the bakery.
“Change for any small business is always difficult, but ethics are becoming more important to consumers than ever,” said Williams.
“There will always be small pockets of people not happy, but if the business owners maintain their message, I think they will thrive on vegan business alone.”
According to a 2018 study from Roy Morgan Research, over 2 million Australians are choosing to reduce the amount of animal ingredients in their diet.
“It’s important for us to build a business that gives people options. We want to create food that is readily available to everyone,” said Darrington.
“From a public relations perspective, Darrington’s strategy has the uniqueness factor. The reality is, a lot of people will make the trip to support ethical options,” said Williams.