Food & Drink

A Day in the Life

Roberta Norman, cook, artist and café owner, opened Seeds For The Soul with her partner in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, three months ago

 By Claire Daly

6am I’d be out the door in ten minutes if it weren’t for my toddler. We get TJ ready for nursery together. I’m usually too busy to eat breakfast, but I’ll have a fresh juice at the café. I say I’ll eat later and sometimes that becomes at night. Since I’ve become vegan I feel much healthier and have more energy than I used to.

9am I work in the kitchen, chopping and making food for people as orders come in. Most of the food we serve is homemade, including the seitan bacon, so there’s lots of preparation to do in the mornings. We experiment with the menu all the time.

10am In between orders I bake the cakes, including all the cakes people order for birthdays. People are amazed the cakes are vegan and ask how we make it so fluffy without eggs. I start with a basic sponge recipe and ‘veganise’ it – if it has yoghurt I’ll make a soya curd. I wanted people to see that vegan food is really tasty and healthy and not at all boring or bland.

12 noon Lunchtimes are busiest. My husband and I are a good team but we do have arguments. We have separate spaces – him upstairs as barista and front of house person, and me down in the kitchen.

2pm Our deliveries come around lunchtime. We always use fair-trade and organic produce and try to use local and vegan producers as much as possible. We also stock LemonAid and other charity drinks in the fridge.

4pm My husband picks up my son TJ and brings him to the café for the late afternoon. We were keen to make the café child-friendly, so we have some toys and we make children whatever they want.

6pm We have seating outside, so people often sit and have vegan wine, beers or cocktails. From August, we’ll be open for dinner too. At the moment we leave at 6.30 and go to the shops because our fridge at home is often empty.

9pm I’ll have a big bowl of fruit and my favourite drink, Kombucha – a raw drink with live cultures. It’s like cider but with no alcohol, so I have it as my evening drink to relax with a movie.

10pm Sometimes I have to do a reality check… how did we get here with a two-year-old in tow? It’s lots of hard work – I work seven days a week. I used to have really bad insomnia but now I’m working long days I sleep really well. We have our dream, and sometimes I pinch myself.