"I think something wonderful is starting to happen in Redcliffe, but people haven't realised it yet," Tracey Chapman told me as she blended me a green super-food smoothie.
She launched her vegan café Peace Pies late last year, and I've only been there a few times. But with each visit and the more I learn of the café's benevolence, the more apparent it becomes that perhaps Tracey is that "something wonderful" that's starting to happen in Redcliffe.
I wanted to create pies for the community so people could experience good food without feeling they'd be lacking something, which is the typical perception when it comes to vegan food," Tracey said.
Peace Pies offers a range of pastry pies, lasagnes and cheesecakes, all hand-made each morning by Tracey herself. The drink menu includes raw super-food smoothies and coffees made with your choice of soy or almond milk.
However, Peace Pies is becoming more than a café. Slowly but surely it is growing repute as a revitaliser of community spirit.
After a flood of positive feedback, Tracey launched 'suspended pies'. The concept invites customers to pay for a 'suspended' pie or coffee, which can then be forwarded to someone who wouldn't have been able to afford it.
It's not an offering of charity, but simply about sharing and caring," Tracy said.
Peace Pies has also introduced an open-mic night, held on the last Sunday of each month. The popular event offers the chance for musicians, singers and entertainers – whether they are professionals or just starting out – to perform for a live audience.
Tracey is also preparing a programme of community film screenings.
Tracey began spreading vegan goodness with a small muffin stall at community markets. Throughout her two years as a market-stall owner, she fell in love with the experience of seeing pleasant surprise on the faces of those who tried her food – especially the amazed expressions of manly, non-vegan men.
She has enjoyed watching many barriers and misconceptions about the vegan diet fall down as more and more people enjoyed her food and came back every week for more.
Slightly larger than her market stall, Peace Pies is a café and vegan grocery store where the food is prepared in a loving environment. Learning as she goes, Tracey is a blessing to the Redcliffe community and visitors alike.