Wingerworth hair salon boss opens vegan café to reunite community after Covid
An enterprising woman who wanted to give her community a place to reconnect after Covid has launched a vegan café.
Rowan Adlington has opened new eatery, Figaro, next door to her hairdressing salon at Allendale Road, Wingerworth.
She recruited nine staff among friends and colleagues and found the head chef, Stephen Cameron, through a customer at her salon. Rowan said: “I cut his partner Becky’s hair and she put us together and the ideas for the menu flooded in, sharing his knowledge and my ethos!
"We’ve had massive support from the local community and people travelling from further afield seeking out great plant based food. The most popular dishes so far are sharing boards, pizza and pancakes."
The cafe has a licence to serve alcohol and can accommodate up to 30 customers.
Rowan said: “Once Covid restrictions end we’ll introduce French and Spanish lessons, book club, quiz night, Salsa night, themed evenings with live music at the weekends.
"I want Figaro to be environmentally conscious, limit food and packaging waste, support local businesses.”
A vegetarian for more than three decades and vegan for the past three years, Rowan said: “I’ve always loved the idea of opening a café, I love creating interiors and bringing people together. When the old Thai takeaway spot next to the salon came available the seed was sown.”
Her plans for the café were delayed for two years by long lease negotiations and the Covid pandemic. Rowan said: “Once Boris (Johnson) announced the road map out of lockdown, I decided the time was right to order the first of many skips. I love DIY and between haircutting pulled off most of the jobs with expert help from Tim (Atkinson electricals), Mick Beard on joinery and Andy Simms plumbing….awesome guys who just smiled and got on with it when I changed my mind about what’s going where.
"After a last minute push helped massively by my sons Frank Adlington Stringer (our north-east Derbyshire Green Party candidate who inspires me to green up my act) and my younger son Teddy (Adlington) Stringer, one of the UK’s top amateur MMA fighters, who does the heavy lifting, and leaving the café at 2am the night before, we opened on June 16 and hit the ground running.”
Rowan, 54, who is from Wingerworth, ran T.Potts ceramic café in Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield, between 2006 and 2007 and Stuff and Nonsense antiques on the same site for 18 months.
She started training as a hairdresser with Vidal Sassoon in London at the age of 17 then worked in salons in Chelsea and Notting Hill. After returning to Derbyshire when she was 28, Rowan opened her first salon in Chesterfield town centre and then a second in Wingerworth. She said: “I closed the town salon shortly after the second site opened as it was a better site and I wanted to stick to doing hair and not end up being a manager. I’ve just celebrated 25 years in the Wingerworth salon, Arkadia Too.”
Commenting on why the café is called Figaro, Rowan said: “I wanted a name that was simple, didn’t pigeonhole us and would allow us to grow. Coincidentally, I also like the barber of Seville connection to me and my salon next door!”
To see Figaro’s menu, go to https://figarowingerworth.wixsite.com/website