New era at Falkirk bistro as owners introduce plant-based menu

The new year has brought about a new era at a Falkirk eatery as its owners seek to serve the area’s “plant-based” food market.

Gabriele Panozzo and his wife Michela have taken over at what was previously Coffee on Wooer and rebranded the business as The Wooer.

The Wooer's owner, Gabriele Panozzo, says the bistro has welcomed a steady stream of customers in its first month of business. Picture: Michael Gillen

The Wooer's owner, Gabriele Panozzo, says the bistro has welcomed a steady stream of customers in its first month of business. Picture: Michael Gillen

The slight alteration in name signals a complete change in operation as all of the food on the new-look and ever-changing menu is plant-based — nothing is made using animal products — and sourced locally.

Gabriele put his Brightons home-based Gorgeously Vegan business on the back burner last year once he became aware of the opportunity to rent out the Wooer Street premises.

Having officially opened on December 9, 2019, staff say they have been met with a positive response from customers who have taken kindly to the array of dishes on offer, from lasagne and Mexican wraps to traditional Scottish dishes.

Although the cafe-bistro offers vegan-friendly fare, its owners are eager to stress The Wooer is not just for vegans.

Gabriele, who is vegan himself and originally from Veneto in Italy, said: “People are very happy about it.

“We are the only 100 per cent vegan venue in Falkirk — everything is plant-based.

“I’m a trained chef and I’m Italian so the food I make is influenced by my Italian knowledge. I have also connected with local culture so I have been able to make my own haggis, neeps and tatties and stovies.

“My wife is not a chef but she’s very good in the kitchen and with people and at the moment we have three staff.

“We source vegan sweets and cheeses that are very difficult to find and also have a deli and a shop inside with all products plant-based. We also have non-food products like soap bars.”

With Veganuary in full swing, people worldwide are being encouraged to go vegan for January and beyond and Gabriele is extending a warm invitation to all those looking to try something new.

He said: “Having The Wooer in Falkirk, it’s the perfect chance to try a plant-based diet.

“You won’t find the same menu every day, but always a new and exciting choice.”

Search for ‘The Wooer’ on Facebook for more details.