It’s been swell looking back on what we’ve all been up to since the workings of the very fist Vida Vegan Con in 2011 during our Month of Memories for VeganMoFo, and catching up with alumni, speakers and sharing some behind the scenes secrets.
Our Q & A series will continue into Autumn as all three VVC organizers begin, continue and end their separate travels, gathering inspiration for their own endeavors and Vida Vegan-land, alike.
Thank you all for being a part of the Vida Vegan family, and we hope to see you at our next happening, whatever neck of the woods it may be in!
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.
Last August, Janessa, Jess, and I presented some vegan meals to the folks at Rose Schnitzer Manor, a Jewish assisted-living home. They were already serving a few meatless meals a day and wanted to use and learn more about plant-based proteins.
We made them a big berry salad with maple-agave tempeh, and a baked tofu mac-n-chee, and ran through the benefits of a vegan diet, offering some super accessible alternative proteins.
They had SO MANY questions for us—and I’m not just counting the seven times Ruth asked what kind of cheese we used. We talked about how they could get more options from their cafeteria, since most of them couldn’t shop or cook for themselves anymore.
And they ate the food! And most of them liked it! I don’t think we moved anyone to become vegan that day, but I do believe we took some of the fear factor away from some unfamiliar ingredients.
When we visited Austin for location scouting earlier this year, we knew we had to visit Capital City, Austin’s amazing vegan bakery owned by Kristen Davenport.
The cart has since moved, and a brick and mortar bakery is currently in the works. She makes the best best best treats, and donated ridiculously good brownies to this year’s Galarama. I’m pretty sure everyone in Austin knows about this place already, but if you don’t, do your mouth a favor and get down there.
Here’s Jess and Michele picking out their treats:
And a sweet romantic cookie and mouthwatering cupcakes:
One of the venues we were cautiously optimistic about when location scouting in Chicago was the Field Museum. We assumed it would be outrageously out of our price range, and it was (for now), but it was a beautiful spot and inspired a few new ideas.
In addition to scouting out event venues at the Field Museum, we also found a…PHOTOBOOTH! And you know what we do when one of those comes across our path.