What a time we live in where summer cookouts can now be a viable occasion for not just carnivores but for us fellow vegans as well! This summer, the Urban Community Revitalization Project has organized an event for all the dope herbivores out there just trying to grub on some amazing vegan dishes and interact with other health conscious and woke individuals.
This event couldn’t have been planned for a more perfect time just a couple days after the 4th of July when everyone is out grilling. Now Vegans don’t have to feel left out of the occasion.
The Vegan community has always seemed to be on the rise in the metro area but not too many businesses are outside of that area. This cookout presents many up and coming Vegan shops such as: The Exclusive Vegan, Calaveritas, LOJ Fitness, Vegan Me Please, Kim’s Kitchen, Basil Me and RicedOutAtl. I have gotten the chance to talk with owners and managers of the businesses and they all have one very important feature in common. They are passionate about what they do. They all just want the world to know about this vital lifestyle that vegans are living. Here are what some of these astounding individuals have to say:
Yorai (LOJ Fitness): “When dealing with anything you want to change; you’re dealing with the mindset...there’s a large misconception about being vegan and not being able to gain weight.” At LOJ Fitness they stress that you don’t have to eat meat to get built. “Breaking barriers” as he put it. They do more then try and get their clientele physically in shape; they go over the whole nine yards with total wellness. That includes massage therapy, health coaching and yoga. “The whole goal is to become holistic and to take care of the mind, body and spirit.”
Noel & Mayra (Calaveritas): “We wanted to fill that void in the Hispanic community”. Bringing their loved ones into a new age of wellness is what the owners of Calaveritas are all about. They want to show the world that they are a forefront for Vegan Mexican cuisine. Mayra states that their passion for veganism and understanding that everyone can benefit from the lifestyle in many ways is all the drive that they need to keep their business going. Check out more of the Vegan Mexican food on their Instagram below.
Kim (Kim’s Kitchen): “What inspired me was when I began to eat plant-based, I realized that there is a way to eat really well, feel really well but also be able to enjoy really good food.” Kim has been running her business by herself for the past two years… yes that means that she is prepping, cooking, managing and attending all of her pop-up events. I know the struggles of running a business but to operate one alone is another story. If I were you, I’d recommend trying her authentic Jamaican patties. I will be looking forward to trying more of her main dishes at the next events to come.
Ryan (Basil Me): A detox. Antibacterial. Skin cleanser. It’s all the great results of using basil! “So basil was growing like no other in my greenhouse so I started experimenting with it… I knew that basil was a natural detox... so started playing around with it and came up with basil lemonade”. When I came up to Ryan’s tent at the cookout, I was a little skeptical but not because anything against basil but lemonade. Not a huge fan of any lemonade I’ve had in the past due to that lingering tart taste it leaves in your mouth. When I tell you I now have a favorite drink over any other I am not lying. I tried the wheatgrass flavored basil drink and that’s all it took to get me hooked. Even went back to buy two more! There is not a strong flavor; it just goes down as smooth as drinking a cup of water. I’d advise anyone to check out Basil Me’s website and Instagram. You also might find Basil Me in a local Vegan restaurant as well!
Michelle (Riced Out ATL): “We’re doing something that has never been done before…”. Michelle used what she learned from living abroad and brought something completely new to Atlanta, that is extraordinary. That’s the beauty of making vegan dishes you can be as creative as you want. Doing what she loves at 26 years old, we can all aspire to be doing what Michelle has achieved. You can follow her on Instagram and check out their website as well!
Events like these are what strengthens the vegan movement. To get to meet and converse with all of these vendors that are living their dreams. To have them all gathered for one cookout has been a tremendous moment for a lot of people including myself. It is nice to see Atlanta finally on the map of having these types of events that most people would only see in California. I am excited to see what is next for Vegan Atlanta. Till the next cook out!!