Why did we bring meat onto the menu at Hollyhock? It’s a big question, and the answer is both simple, and complex.
The main driving initiative was inclusivity, an attempt to widen the window of welcome, in the hopes of creating a space that feels a little more comfortable for more people.
We’ve received feedback for many years that a vegetarian menu didn’t feel culturally inclusive, and for a few years we offered a protein supplement when we knew there would be a high number of participants who might not feel served by a vegetarian menu. However this didn’t feel genuine, and it once again puts the onus on our visitors to advocate for their comfort, and not on the group in power to offer it.
It wasn’t an easy decision. We knew this would impact some people’s experience positively, and others negatively. What it does is give people more choice, and offers a more inclusive and welcoming experience for all of our guests.
We are very careful in our sourcing, and always seek out the most ethical and sustainable options available to us. This also gives us another avenue to support small local businesses, which is an important value at Hollyhock. Had our kitchen stayed vegetarian, supporting local vendors would have been more challenging.
Even though the kitchen has never been purely vegetarian, we have always served fish and seafood, and have been offering protein supplements for years, we understand this may feel like a loss to some of our visitors. It may feel like a step away from a value they hold dear, and in this case we encourage people to explore what it means to have privilege and comfort.
We will always offer our vegetarian menu, but we will no longer be requiring people to advocate for their own cultural comfort when it comes to their food choices.
Bringing meat to the menu at Hollyhock was always bound to spark debate as so many people love and care about this place, and have had so many meaningful experiences here. Our hope with this change is that we can continue to widen the circle of people who can feel welcome and comfortable at Hollyhock.