Vida Vegan Con
Hey there! Welcome to the next edition of our latest Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters! These special interviews give a glimpse into our past alumni’s upcoming projects, seasonal shenanigans and reveal what they really learned at VVC2013. They’re sharing which class sticks out in their minds so many months later, and just what they’d like to see more and less of in vegan blogging, a question that’s always on our minds.
We’re now joined by a devoted (and super appreciated!) member of the VVHQ support team and recent host of Portland’s Pop Up! Taco Shop!, Julia Legume.
So Julia, what have you been up to this summer?
Park Ranger-ing, watching Wheel of Fortune, petting every dog and cat I see in the streets of pdx.
Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II?
Looking back, what was the most memorable class?
Vegan Professionals in a Non-vegan World with Janessa, Fran, Julie, and Grant– good stuff dudes
How has your blog changed since the three-day conference?
I think one more person reads it.
How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?
I tasted Upton’s bacon– and now I eat a lot of it at home!
Who were you really excited to meet?
Any special memories of VVC2013 you’d like to share?
The Chicago Vegan Foods Teese nacho machine!!!!
So, have you started reading any new blogs?
Travel blogs, basically. The Gay Backpacker — I like his style.
What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?
Less recipes/ how to’s with packaged ingredients, more thoughtful and creative dishes that are inspiring
What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC?
Team building exercises. Mandatory. (Noted!)
What other vegan events put together by VVHQ would you like to attend?
Pool parties, pizza parties, slumber parties, hikes, campouts, dodgeball, Vegan Olympics.
Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference? (as if you could resist!)
DUH EMAME’S ETHIOPIAN FOODCART DOWNTOWN.
Thanks for sharing!
Our Month of Memories Q & A series will continue far into VeganMoFo.
Here’s Julia’s VVC2013 recap: Vida Vegan Con, I love you. For her latest & greatest, check her out on Instagram, @donna__noble.
VVC2 was a wirlwind of a feel good vegan social media weekend, and even in the middle of the storm, I found a few things that I absolutely cannot live without ever again, if I had a choice in the matter.
From top left:
Wayfare Maple Ice Cream: Made from oats, this creamy and smooth non-dairy ice cream is now the benchmark for all other vegan ice cream brands and flavors. While I love me some So Delicious and Coconut Bliss, this oat-based dreamy creamy pint is my new jam.
Tofurky BBQ Chicken Hot Pockets: Growing up vegetarian, I never indulged in hot pockets as a kid, but as an adult, this hot, sweet and tangy with tofu in a convenient pocket of bread is sure to be a delightful occasional indulgence when I’m back in the States. I ate several of these throughout the VVC weekend.
Tatly Vegan Temporary Tattoos: This company donated veggie-themed temporary tattoos the the VIP ticket-holders of the Galarama. I seem to have ended up with one in the aftermath of VVC, so I stuck the booklet in my backpack with me to take on my travels. I love the idea of temporary tattoos that are vegan, and though of course the vegetables are my fave, all their other themed books are adorable and fun.
Myoko Schinner’s Vegan Cheese Platter: Seriously. Artisan vegan cheese is taking over the country, and Miyoko’s ground-breaking book Artisan Vegan Cheese seems to be leading the pack. She put together a GORGEOUS plate of her cheese for the Galarama, and I found myself eating as many crackers loaded with cheese as I could.
VVC on Stage: I just love working with Jess and Michele so much, and love getting to be in a whole building/city filled with like-minded vegan bloggers, authors and social media users. The people involved are always my absolute all-time fave thing from the conferences!
Apparently I’m supposed to go off and celebrate aging tonight, so it’s time for a quick Now & Then glimpse into the VVC memory bank, looking back at the rooms where everything but the classes took place at both Vida Vegan Conferences.
We’re talking the main ballrooms, which housed meals, opening & closing talks, announcements, exhibitors and receptions. We had a lot of fun pulling off VVC2011 in its first year, and then absolutely fell in love with the Portland Art Museum once we quickly began location scouting and planning the next one, realizing that we had to fit a lot more folks & room for exhibitors in.
Do you remember both of them?
VVC2011 at University Place: roughly 150 attendees jam-packed into into this Portland State conference center
VVC2013: quite grander inside the Kridel Ballroom at the Portland Art Museum with nearly 300 in attendance
As always, we like to get creative with our space — it’s a must!
What’s next? Why, you’ll have to wait and see…we’re always on the lookout for new event spaces, in Portland and beyond (and then some!)
Feel free to send suggestions our way!
Did you forget to get yourself a special Vida Vegan Con water bottle or t-shirt at the conference? Sort of wish you had an extra mug? Or maybe you didn’t go to the conference this year but still want to pick up some new VVC gear. We get it, and we’ve got it for you in the Vida Vegan Shop.
The truth is, we strive to keep our registration pricepoint low (free for some) and our sponsorships accessible, so more people have the chance to join us at our events. And we have lost sponsors for refusing to give them our mailing lists, send out sponsored emails, or allow them to present demos at the event—and we feel OK with that. We’re proud to stand up and say no to demands we feel would upset the positive, inspirational, creative vibe of the Con. (Obviously, our sponsors help make these things happen, and we truly do love the ones we work with—and hope you do too.)
That means it’s largely the three of us ladies doing as much of the work ourselves as possible to keep costs down. That also means when you buy a t-shirt, you help us put together a deposit toward the next event without us having to compromise the integrity of Vida Vegan organizers and attendees.
You have no idea how greatly we appreciate that. We’ll hug you all next time we see you, seriously.
Thank you, and enjoy!
Thank you so much to the attendees, speakers, and sponsors of the second (sold-out! internationally attended!) Vida Vegan Bloggers Conference!
This event, the now three-day extravaganza (plus, another Galarama), has grown so much, and we thank you all so much, for making it even more than what we ever thought it could be. Your friendly organizers have spent the past two years pouring our hearts and minds into this event, and constantly get chills from the community that’s grown from our vegan bloggers conference—for writers and readers alike.
There’s so much more to say, and so much to reflect on, but we need some sleep (and kale), and we’re sure you do too.
We’re emailing our attendees for feedback (and a ticket giveaway to the next Con, what the hey?), so be on the lookout for that, and as always, stay tuned right here for updates on what and when and where our next shindig(s) will be.
In the meantime, go blog (better than ever!) and peruse all the #VVC2013 hashtags on Instagram and Twitter and all over. We’ve seen lots of folks live-blogging and recapping already, and remain in awe.
We can’t say it enough: THANK YOU!
One of the roughly 400 bajillion new elements we’re introducing to Vida Vegan Con II is the legit New Product Spotlight on Friday afternoon. This spotlight happens at the very opening of the Exhibit Area (11:30am), located inside your home base for the weekend: the Kridel Grand Ballroom, where all meals, refreshments, announcements the Expert Corner, All Things Vegan Radio (and more!) will reside. All of our snazzy, supportive exhibitors will be providing samples for your enjoyment during this Spotlight (most of which, non-surprisingly, will surely offer very tasty bites)…some of which may be brand spankin’ new!
Here’s the scoop with our full lineup of 2013 Exhibitors, listed in alphabetical order. Any new product picks they’ve told us about are included below, but hey, every table will have plenty to share and discuss, no doubt!
- Attune Foods, Erewhon Buckwheat & Hemp cereal
- The Better Bean Company
- Bob’s Red Mill new Grains of Discovery product line features Amaranth, Chia Seed, Farro, Kamut, Millet, Quinoa, Sorghum, Spelt and Teff from around the world
- Chicago Vegan Foods > We haven’t heard about a new product just yet, but there will be S’mores at the Friday night Pop Up and Nacho Teese at the Saturday Build-a-Bowl lunch buffet. You know what to do.
- Coconut Bliss Salted Caramel & Chocolate Pint, Strawberry Love Bars, Cafe Latte Bars
- Compassion Couture Cornelia Guest Roxy Clutch, Neuaura Arisa, Cri de Coeur – Pia & Matt & Nat Cara in Ocean (tabling on Saturday & Sunday!)
- Earth Balance Vegan Aged White Cheddar Puffs, Vegan Buttery Flavor Popcorn, Vegan Aged White Cheddar Popcorn & P.B. Popps, travel-sized coconut peanut butter
- Go Veggie! Strawberry Cream Cheese Alternative
- Heidi Ho Cheeses Chia Cheese Sauce
- KeVita Mojita & Daily Cleanse flavors
- Missionary Chocolates Coconut Palm Sugar Truffle (tabling on Friday & Sunday!)
- Nasoya Nayonaise Original & NayoWhipped
- Pacific Foods Organic Refried Pinto Beans, Organic Baked Beans, Organic Refried Black Beans, Organic Refried Black Beans with Green Chiles, Organic Vegetable Lentil & Roasted Red Pepper Soup, reduced Sodium – Organic Spicy Black Bean & Kale Soup, Unsweetened Hemp Original Non-dairy Beverage, Unsweetened Hemp Vanilla Non-dairy Beverage
- Pacific Northwest Kale Chips Cascade Ranch flavor
- Peanut Butter & Co bigger 28 ounce jars of all their flavors
- So Delicious Dairy Free Chocolate Coconut Milk Beverage, Barista Style French Vanilla Creamer, Barista Style Orginal Creamer, Gluten-Free Cookies & Cream Frozen Dessert (look for this last one being debuted during their Sunday Ice Cream Social)
- Tofurky Artisan sausages: Andouille, Spinach Pesto and Chick’n & Apple
- Upton’s Naturals Bacon Seitan. They’re not sampling at their table, but, it will be in Sunday’s ‘The Sandwich Board’ lunch buffet so go get some!
- Vegan Cuts the latest Vegan Cuts Snack Box, featuring 7 or more vegan products, ranging from sweet treats to household fun stuff.
- Wayfare ♥ We Can’t Say It’s Ice Cream
More to come at 11:30am on Friday…
If you’re tabling and have a new product to include, let us know and we’ll announce it all on Friday at the Spotlight.
The full list of exhibitors and sponsors is located here.