A VEGAN hummus and pita bar is due to open in York’s Church Street next month offering a healthy fast food option that has already gone down well in Leeds and Sheffield.

Humpit will create 15 new jobs at the 50-seat café, which will also offer ‘grab and go’ takeaway options.

The York outlet is the fourth for the brand, which was launched by Jonathan Phillips, then aged 23, as a pop-up eatery in the Corn Exchange in Leeds city centre three-and-a-half years ago.

“I studied real estate, but realised I wanted to run my own business,” Jonathan said.

“I visited the Middle East, where a lot of food is hummus-based and loved it.

“I realised that the hummus market in the UK supermarkets is worth £375 million, that’s how popular it is.

“I am not vegan and didn’t intend to set up a vegan brand, but realised afterwards that all our food is vegan and we also serve a gluten-free option.

“We have outlets in Sheffield and in Leeds University now; it has really taken off.”

The menu is simple - just hummus and pita served with salad and/or falafel fried chick pea balls, parsley, paprika and olive oil. Drinks are juices, home made lemonade, fruit tea and water.

“It is a simple,but incredible combination.and we have attracted a huge following, which supports us on social media and Tripadvisor and the vegan community shouts about us,” Jonathan said.

“And it is not just the vegan community. Even people who have never tried hummus before and are meat eaters have become hooked on it, You can’t beat good hummus and falafel.

“The name has rude connotations so people don’t forget us.

“We are very excited to be in York. It is such a fantastic city and we are looking forward to offering fresh and authentic food to tourists and locals.”

Jonathan runs Humpit, which was number 1 on Tripadvisor within eight weeks of opening in Leeds, with his father, Simon, and they have recently received backing from venture capitalist Venturian Funding and Investment Group.

“We plan to expand and create a vegan chain across the UK,” Jonathan said.

The investment will enable Humpit to expand to nine sites.

Greg Allsopp, investment director at Venturian, added: “With the growth in popularity of healthy eating and the huge rise in veganism, Humpit is extremely relevant in today’s food market.

"We see a significant opportunity for the business to expand into new cities, bringing the Humpit brand to a new audience.”

In 2015 Humpit won Richard Branson’s Virgin Start-up Foodpreneur Festival award for street food.

Many restaurants now offer vegan options. York has long established vegan eatery El Piano in Grape Lane, which also offers a cookery school.