Michael Jennings never considered living in the rural North until he met his wife, Alex, who is from Skipton.
The couple, who met at university in Liverpool, decided to make the town their home, drawn by Alex’s roots but also a desire to live in a lovely area but one which is also accessible to urban attractions. Skipton has five cities within an hour to an hour and a half’s drive away.
They also dreamed of making an environmental and ethical difference and vegan café, Steep and Filter, is the result.
Said Michael: “I always wanted to have a vegetarian café, but decided it was a wiser choice to do vegan, given that I am vegan. We also have an eco shop, selling cruelty free, paper packaged and non plastic while keeping it cheap, so it’s something people can afford. We are still expanding the eco shop side of the business. At Steep and Filter we could make more money, but it wouldn’t bring anything to the town and we want to strive to have something of quality and bring fresh ideas to Skipton which will attract more people in.”
Michael is a keen supporter of GPLD, believing strongly that more needs to be done to improve the cultural offering of the area in order to retain and attract younger generations.
He said: “The population is quite old and people are leaving. We should put on good events and we need to support young people with a good idea. If it hadn’t been for my wife and the countryside, there wouldn’t have been much to make me want to live here, but now I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”