The freshly opened vegan restaurant, The Hampton Hub, is planning on giving back to the community through food.
Gage McGuire, Tiro Mthembu and Thabo Mthembu created the unique business, centred around being environmentally friendly and socially conscious.
“It all started with us wanting to feed the community,” said McGuire, “to try to create a better tomorrow.”
The trio plans on doing a “Pay what you can” price model for lunch specials once they get more established, which McGuire referred to as “inherently different” than other restaurants in Regina.
“Lunches for us are going to be less of a for-profit thing and more of a for-community thing,” said McGuire.
First time customer and Instagram food blogger Ling Dela Cruz believed The Hampton Hub is innovative on different levels.
“This is actually my first time here, and I love it,” said Dela Cruz, “I was talking to Gage about it, and I think its a great spot for the neighbourhood that’s been needed.”
While Dela Cruz is not vegan herself, she strongly believes the city needs more vegan options.
“This place is creative. This is the only vegan restaurant in the city that offers a full vegan menu, from their drinks to the food they are going to be putting out,” said Dela Cruz. “The fact they are taking a chance and doing what they love, while standing behind what they believe in, it translates in their business.”
The name Hampton is inspired from American activist and Black Panther deputy chairman of the Illinois Chapter, Fred Hampton. Hampton was killed by police Dec. 4, 1969, just a few weeks after speaking at the University of Saskatchewan, according to Regina Leader-Post.
The Hampton Hub features a large mural of Fred Hampton on the rear wall, and has multiple books for customers to brush up on their history about black activists such as Hampton and Huey P. Newton.
Fred Hampton and The Black Panther Party organized a multitude of social programs, including the Free Breakfast for School Children program that was a smash success, and an influence for The Hampton Hub.
Thabo Mthembu also felt a place like this was needed, especially in Regina and Saskatchewan, as compared to places like Vancouver, the vegan options are very limited.
As of right now, the restaurant offers different vegan drink items, including coffee, beer and kombucha, but only serves breakfast nachos for food items. Starting next week, they plan on having a variety of vegan pizza options.
“I love being vegan, but I couldn’t imagine being vegan in Saskatchewan even twenty years ago,” said Thabo, “It’s hard enough as it is today.”
The restaurant plays modern and old-school hip hop in the background, creating an uplifting feel-good vibe that matches their personalities.
The community has responded well to their efforts to create a safe, diverse, educational and environmentally friendly restaurant.
“It’s been astounding. It’s been a whirlwind,” said Mcguire, “I think for all of us involved, it’s been pretty heartwarming stuff. There were already regulars within week one.”
When customers walk in the door, they are greeted instantly by one of the owners, and even behind the mask, it is easy to see the smile they gift their customers.
“Everyone is family here, and we try to make sure anyone that comes in is treated as family,” said Thabo.