Veganism is more than a passing craze in Bendigo, something that Golden Square cafe Adam & Eve has discovered.
Adam & Eve's owner Matthew Breeze said he started eating vegan when he suffered a serious injury playing soccer in Melbourne.
When taking over Adam & Eve 18 months ago, he never thought it would be a cafe that served exclusively vegan food.
"We started the fully vegan menu about a year ago and the response has been great.
"I've been gobsmacked at how many people have taken to our food," Mr Breeze said.
According to data from the National Nutrition Survey, approximately two per cent of Australian's are vegan.
Veganism, as defined by the Vegan Society, is "a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."
Adam & Eve's ethos is built around good food.
The rosti stack and the Big Muc meal, a take on McDonalds' famous Big Mac are two of the menu highlights.
A gluten and meat free burger, the Big Muc Meal features two beef-less patties, lettuce, vegan cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun.
La Trobe University School of Psychology and Public Health researcher Dr Matt Ruby said that vegan burgers and plant based burgers are becoming more mainstream.
"There is a lot of interest in it and I expect that to go on for a while," Dr Ruby said.
In Bendigo, the challenge for Mr Breeze is educating people.
"Tofu is one example of a food that's had a bad rap from a lot of people.
"You can mess up a steak, and you can mess up tofu very badly, so there is a skill into cooking vegan," Mr Breeze said, while acknowledging his cafe's chef, Regan Kemp.
The availability of vegan products in Australia continues to be an area needing improvement, Dr Ruby said.
"I'd like to see a bit more movement in the vegan cheese area in particular," he said.
Sourcing vegan ingredients produced in central Victoria is a challenge for Mr Breeze, who finds the majority of his ingredients in Melbourne.
"It's always a challenge because when a vegan product becomes available, it has a certain price on it.
"I'd love for vegan products to become part of people's business mind and for wholesalers around Bendigo to introduce different options.
"Not just because people put it on their menu as a token, but because it's a choice," Mr Breeze said.
Breaking the mould was ambitious for Adam & Eve, being located in blue collar territory, but it's been worthwhile, Mr Breeze said.