Author: vidavegancon

VVC 2013 will be in…

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You’ve all been so good and (mostly) patient while we figured out which city will host the next Vida Vegan Con. Well, a lot of emails, tours, and meetings later, we are super excited to tell you the locations of our next TWO conferences:

May 2013: Portland, OR

Yes, we are returning to Portland for our sophomore conference. We found a fantastic, new location that we all instantly fell in love with—we toyed with announcing the name, but we haven’t signed the contract yet. You understand. It’s bigger than last year’s space, so we’ll be able to fit more of you and our favorite exhibitors! Plus some extras we’ve been brewing up ideas for, like a lounge area or work center.

As soon as we sign the contracts, we’ll give you a date and get ready to open registration. Just like last time, we’ll put together travel info and direct you to the best lodging deals, including dorm possibilities. We know a lot of you made longer vacations of the last VVC and will do our best to extend those special room-block prices. So stay tuned for more! And if you’d like to submit a speaker proposal, do it here before May 1, 2012.

August 2014: Chicago, IL

On our scouting trip in January, we knew we had to hold a conference here. We didn’t find the perfect spot yet, so the scouting will continue for VVC III! If you’re in Chicago and have suggestions, let us know. We’ll be taking another trip out there before too long.

Last hinty bit of newsy hints: One-day concentrated seminars comin’ up! We’re planning a small, single-day, concentrated blogging/social networking tech seminar for this November and a vegan business one for March 2014. They will be held in different cities, and neither of them will be in Portland or Chicago. Take away one tease, lay on another, right? We hope it’s more intriguing than frustrating.

Also coming up for local folks: On April 22, Earth Day, Vida Vegan is partnering with BridgePort Brewpub to bring you an exquisitely spring-themed vegan coursed dinner.

The menu will include fresh and lively dishes made with BridgePort beers (yup, they’re vegan-friendly microbrews), and a portion of all ticket sales will go to a local animal sanctuary.

More details, the final menu and a link to ticket sales will be announced in late March/early April. Check out the Facebook event here, and save the date.

All in all, we can’t wait to see you all again!

VVC Location Scouting: Chicago

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We know January and February in Chicago can be brutal, but that’s when we had time to go and that’s when we could afford to go, so that’s when we went, and you know what, we loved it!

Michele was lucky enough to grow up there, but for Jess and Janessa, this was a first look (and feel!) of the Windy City. We packed up our boots and gloves and headed to Chi-town to see if it has what it takes to host a few hundred vegan bloggers for a weekend.

We explored…

Three days of killer public transit for $14. Nice.
Chicago: Where a surprise Native Foods just pops up on your walk downtown...

We met up with friends, old and new…

VVC Organizers Janessa, Jess & Michele, with periwinkle-capped cookbook author Kelly Peloza outside Chicago Diner: The Brunch Visit

And we ate!

Nachos at Chicago Diner
The Chicago Diner: Where friends can share a Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Milkshake!
Custom pizza at The Boiler Room: Daiya mozz, Upton's seitan bacon, fresh basil & red sauce
Whole Foods Lincon Park: Where one can shop with a glass of wine.
Intelligentsia Coffee
Hot dogs from the Whole Foods food court!
Tacos from Quesadilla La Reina del Sur

The verdict? Chicago definitely has what it takes to embrace us and keep us busy. We saw a lot of cool spaces, ate a lot of comfort food (some good, some bad, some awesome), and even found a tattoo artist who uses vegan inks.

The holdup? We’re looking to bring you an even better, more polished event for 2013 and are honestly a little nervous about holding our sophomore conference so far away. Chicago’s a little more expensive than Portland, and we have a smaller pool of friends and family to beg, borrow, and steal from. We know we can do it…but we also can’t afford to lose our day jobs. We have a bunch to talk about before making a final decision, but we’re planning for a March 15th announcement, after a couple more meetings. 

You know either way, Portland or Chicago, it’s gonna be a blast. It wouldn’t be so surprising if we went with one for 2013 and another for VVC3. So, see you somewhere May 2013!

Let’s See What This Chicago Is All About…

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Pleeeease, Lou Malnati's, make this vegan!

You may have heard some buzzin’ on the Facebook page, and it’s true, Vida Vegan is considering Chicago for the Spring 2013 Conference.

We’ll be in town January 21-24 to check out event spaces and let Janessa and Jess get a feel for the city. Michele was lucky to grow up there, so yes, we know how unbelievably horrible the weather can be. We just need to make a decision soon, so the time is now.

So…whatcha think? We’d love to go to a new city each year, and Chicago is the easiest one for us, after Portland. We’ve heard the calls for the Southeast Asia conference, but I think we’re a few years from there just yet.

If any of y’all VVC’ers are in town, we’re putting together a little meetup Sunday, the 22nd, for what else but pizza! Meet us at for lunch at 1:00 pm at The Boiler Room. Totally casual, we’ll just give them a little heads-up that they best get their vegan cheese at the ready. Here’s the Facebook event we set up, with a map & stuff!

Announcing: Coconut Bliss!

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We are thrilled to announce that Vida Vegan Con has confirmed its first  Golden Beet Sponsor, coconut ice cream maker Coconut Bliss.

Our conversation with Coconut Bliss began in 2010. Being a brand-new, vegan conference heading into its first year, we strongly depend on our sponsors for all this excitement to happen, and we value this sponsorship. The news of the sale to Lochmead Dairy came as a surprise to us, just as it did to the rest of the vegan community. As the organizers, we immediately discussed our own feelings and the feelings of all involved with Vida Vegan Con.
We decided to contact Coconut Bliss to discuss the matter, but before we even had a chance, we received a sincere, open email from our contact at Coconut Bliss, Kiley, opening their own dialogue on the situation with the understanding we may not want them involved given the initial gut reaction of the public.
This is not the case. We know the world isn’t vegan and isn’t  perfect, and after reading what both Kiley and Larry have had to say, both personally and officially, we feel comfortable accepting their support. They produce a quality vegan product and want to support the vegan community.
Like you, we have high standards for our sponsors, and as we’ve said before, you’re not about to see the Pork Board behind us. The Faux Pork Board? Sure. Make it happen! Seriously, just as we all have to make decisions about purchases and ways of life, we’ve made a decision here. We have decided to accept this sponsorship. We are thrilled with vegan products going more mainstream and reaching more people. We hope you support us in embracing the support of Coconut Bliss.With that, we leave you with personal words from Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss co-founder, Larry himself:
“During the years that I worked with the EarthSave Foundation, I learned that often the best way to ease open someone’s heart and mind was to lubricate them by putting something delicious in their mouth! When we started our company, our intention wasn’t to make a product just for vegans, or even lactose intolerant people. Luna and I wanted to make a dessert that was so delectable that even diehard Haagen-Dasz and Ben & Jerry’s eaters would want it. Over the years we’ve received lots of feedback that tells us that Coconut Bliss has opened many people to the possibility of veganism, (not to mention the benefits of organics and fair trade).
On the question of Lochmead, we think it’s a wonderful thing to have a dairy devoting their energy and resources to making and selling vegan products. Not only does this help to legitimize the concept of veganism to the mainstream public, but it also helps create a sustainable transition for all the dedicated people who earn their livelihood working at dairies as awareness grows and more and more people choose to move on from animal products.
Luna and I support the important work that you are all doing and we’re very excited to be able to sponsor this amazing conference.” 

See you this summer,

Janessa, Jess & Michele
The Vida Vegan Con Organizers