month of memories
In January 2012, Veggie Grill flew a small group of vegan Portland-area bloggers down to LA to show us the inner-working of the vegan fast-casual chain, planning on an upcoming expansion to Portland.
Jess, Michele and I spent the whirlwind weekend getting to know the founders and owners of Veggie Grill, eating double our weight in Veggie Grill food, and learning about the ethos and ingredients that make Veggie Grill so successful. It’s no secret that the people we met, and the food we tried, led us all into a Veggie Grill love affair. Veggie Grill paid for the trip expenses, but the transparency and genuineness of our interaction with everyone involved is what really impressed us.
Well, that, and the fact that Daryl Hannah was apparently sitting right behind us in the Santa Monica Veggie Grill, and we only realized once Jess got home and looked at her photos.
No, we aren’t done talking about Austin yet. I suppose, though, this photo speaks more about bloggers than it does about Austin.
We stopped by Wheatsville Co-op a couple of times during our scouting visit last spring, because it’s one of the most fantastic co-ops, period. (They have their own vegan lip balm and bottled kombucha, folks.) We grabbed a table in that famous Texas sun and were photographing our lunch, when I had a rare moment of self-awareness.
Bloggers spend a ridiculous amount of time photographing food—no breaking news here—but we seem to not notice that we’re doing it or let it bother us. But it’s weird, right? Look at this table full of food, including (of course) the Wheatsville signature offering, popcorn tofu, and we can’t just dig in? What’s wrong with us?
Don’t you worry, after our little photo shoot we got down to business. After all, we had lots of exploring to do.
We miss you, Austin. We miss you, Wheatsville. We miss you, popcorn tofu. Until we meet again…
Greetings! Welcome to the latest edition of our ongoing Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters. These special interviews offer a glimpse into our past alumni’s upcoming projects, summer 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 own minds.
It’s now time to catch up with first time, wonderfully enthusiastic Vida Vegan alumnae, Jojo Huxster, better known to vegan bloggers (and readers!) around the globe as the longtime blogger behind “Vegan.in.Brighton“. Jojo’s currently across the pond once again, exploring and documenting even more of what the United States has to offer vegan visitors.
In short, Jojo rules and all of us at Vida Vegan Headquarters are in awe of her Mac ‘n Cheese dedication. Come back this way soon — they’re calling your name!
You can read more about Jojo’s take on VVC2013 right here on her recap and stay tuned to her blog updates & travels (she’s recently been spotted in Las Vegas) over at Instagram, @vegan.in.brighton and ditto on twitter.
Our Month of Memories Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters will continue far into the end VeganMoFo and beyond.
Yeah, we don’t have an office. Our HQ is a P.O. box and a collection of living rooms, coffee shops, hotel lobbies, and bars. It’s a little challenging at times, sure, but it also allows us to try new spots around town, curl up with cats, and stay limber, so we can dream up lots of fun stuff for the likes of you.
Here’s a look back, via our Instagram feeds, at what a Vida Vegan meeting looks like!
And for you Portland folks, just a heads-up, we signed a contract for a little event space for early December. We’ll try to get details together for you soon. We’re pretty excited about how it’s shaping up.
Sadly, vegan doughnuts are not a given. So if you are lucky enough to have them in your life, you embrace those fried-dough sweeties. And don’t get me started on a good, honest cup of the local roast! Think of all the sad cups of coffee you’ve had, especially while traveling, stale, bitter, or that thin brown water. Yes, you drink it—because that’s all there is—and you drink it black because they don’t even have soymilk.
The Pacific Northwest is sort of a quality coffee safe zone, especially when you get into the cities. We just happened upon Herkimer on our location-scouting trip to Seattle, for the 2012 Tech Seminar, and it was exactly what we needed. When you’ve got a day or two in a city with a bunch of appointments, and you’re hoping so hard one of them suits your needs, stress can run pretty high. (What if you can’t find the perfect combination of location, capacity, wi-fi, catering, and price?) Taking a moment to sit down with the best partners ever and just eat a (Mighty-O) doughnut and drink a cup of coffee—leisurely drinking from a mug, not throwing back a paper cup—can be pretty special.
Thank you, Seattle. Thank you and your gazillion local coffee roasters. You spoil us.
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.