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Vegan Shop-Up in Bushwick Brooklyn
Well, I'm feeling really good today! The temps have really dipped down and it's finally feeling like late Autumn!
With today being Veteran's Day, and tomorrow being the official observation, this is a 3-day weekend, which, just adds to my happiness for the day!!
I am so excited to tell you all about my day yesterday, at yet again, another amazingly terrific vegan market!
I paid a visit to The Vegan Shop-Up , which takes place monthly at the Pine Box Rock Shop in Bushwick.
It is so heartwarming to see just how many vegan business entrepreneurs there are right here in the New York City-Tri-State area! Aside from finding awesome food and natural products, I just love meeting new and interesting individuals. Each one has their own story to tell about their inspiration for starting their business.
And as I frequent these markets more and more, several are beginning to be familiar faces since many are on the "Pop Up" circuit in around the NYC-area.
According to their website, Vegan Shop-Up was established in Brooklyn in 2011 and was New York City's first monthly all vegan pop-up market, featuring local vendors.
I went solo yesterday since the promotional flyer said it was 21 and older. However, I found out that if accompanied by an adult, teens can come. So, guess where I'll be dragging my kids next month!
Honestly, they wont have to be dragged - they love pop-up markets and if it's vegan, all the better!
I met some super nice folks - all dedicated to their vegan-based businesses! And what I am totally stoked about is that our Travelin' Cousins Vegan Resource Guide, and list of Vegan Approved business establishments just keeps growing!!!
In fact, it's growing at a rate that is faster than we can update our list and send congratulatory emails and our official Vegan Approved badge. So, kindly be patient as we expect to have a great many more companies added by the end of November!.
I tried to make it to every booth and managed to even make a purchase at most.
I had a chance to chat with Andrea at Sweetcicles's and picked up some chewy Grape candies. Having gone through the vendor list with Kelsey before leaving, I had strict instructions to bring home candy!! And so I did. The candies are made from simple and natural ingredients and though they contain corn syrup, it's not the bad, modified kind!!
I just love her natural packaging too!!
My next stop was right next door -The Baklava Lady. I'm not going to lie - I've never been a huge fan of baklava - I always found it a bit too sweet for my tastebuds. But, I thought, let me give it a try - it looked so lovely in the display cases and Naciye, the actual "Baklava Lady" had so much passion about her turkish desserts, for which she veganized.
Here's where it gets interesting....with four varieties of baklava to choose from, I narrowed down my choice to the Pecan Pie variety and the traditional, figuring me and Gianna would give it a try.
Later in the evening (after we got through the savory food I brought home) we each had a taste of the two items I purchased. HOLY COW!!! I do not lie when I say, this was one of the best desserts I've ever eaten in my entire life. And while I really thought before trying that I was going to prefer the pecan pie variety, there was no question that the "traditional" was my absolute favorite.
The excitement went on for about 15 minutes, where me and Gianna kept looking at each other repeating "OMG - this is amazing!" at which point, I had to send a personal message to Naciye, telling her how much we loved her desserts!
Thank goodness she will be at the Vegan Market next week at the Market Hotel in Brookyn, so we can stock up for Thanksgiving!
This monthly market, does not only feature foodie vendors, but products in all categories. One such company is The Fanciful Fox, a mother and daughter-owned business of handcrafted personal care items. The range of products is everything from soaps and face scrubs to bath and lip products as well as a full line of soy candles.
They even offer baby, men's and doggie care items.
I decided on two lip balms - one for each of the girls and a lip tint for me. Not able to resist great smelling candles, my purchase also included a lemon, sage and ginger candle, which Kelsey and I immediately lit after unpacking my goodies from the day!
Along the way, I managed to pick up four Peanut butter cups - each a different flavor, from Eat Chic Chocolates. Sorry no pics - they wrapped up my 4 chocolate choices in a lovely little plastic box and the girls were so excited (especially Gianna) to have some vegan chocolate peanut butter cups that a picture was not possible!! However, I've inserted a photo from the company's website.
This Brooklyn-based confection brand handcrafts chocolates filled with their own small-batch organic nut and seed butters. which are vegan, gluten-free and soy-free, available in dozens of flavors.
It was a pleasure meeting the company's founder, Lotta Andonian, whose chocolates have been featured in publications such as Vogue.co.uk, Stylist, The Evening Standard, Grazia and BBC Good Food, to name a few!!
Additionally, I made a purchase from The Good Spoon, the maker of eggless gourmet condiments. I sampled a few of their mayonnaise offerings, which, in addition to be plant-based, have super catchy names!! (Again, no picture from me - sorry)
Now, it was time for something savory and Gianna had texted me that in addition to wanting something "Pecan Pie", she also wanted some "real food." Well, I had checked off pecan pie with my purchase from The Baklava Lady, and had a sneaking suspicion that I would be finding more in the "pecan pie" category as I continued to walk about (see below - Vegan Brooklyn Foodie).
Now I was on the search for some "real food." Intrigued by the name of the company, I stopped to check out Freakin' Vegan.
Based in Prospect Park, New Jersey, this food kitchen offers a variety of vegan food options available for purchase and shipment through their website, along with their presence at pop-up events around the New York-area.
According to their website, "All of our products are 100% vegan, and 200% freakin’ delicious!"
I'm a sucker for mac and cheese and so, I indulged in a heaping serving - which was fabulous! (sorry girls, none for you - this one was for Mommy!).
However, I did bring them home four empanadas - 2 broccoli and cheddar and 2 spinach and ricotta. Ok - I guess they got even, because I literally only got a bite! They devoured all four in a few hours of getting home. What I did taste of the spinach and ricotta empanada, I can say assuredly, it was freakin' dee-lish.
More savory - Another vendor I had the chance to meet and greet was Rockin' Raw, where I took away a large serving of their vegan shepherd's pie. This dish, though I brought it home - I did manage to have more than just a bite, which was quite tasty!!
My hands were so full, I was unable to get photos of everyone I chatted with and whose dee-lish food I purchased. Here are a few more..
Dalloway Chocolate - This bean-to-bar craft chocolate company based out of Brooklyn. In addition to learning a great deal about how these chocolates are made, during my chat with owners, Sara and Kelechi, I had a chance to sample four offerings, each made from beans from a different country.
Some were quite different to my taste buds, but my favorite was their Date Sugar bar - made with dates instead of cane sugar - which I purchased!
Vegan Brooklyn Foodie, a Travelin' Cousins Vegan Approved vendor had many delectable sweets!! I walked off with a yummy sandwich cookie and their Pecan Pie Dessert. (mission accomplished regarding pecan pie request!).
If I had more hands, I would have bought more! But luckily, I'll be seeing owner, Ashley again next week at the Vegan Market at the Market Hotel again.
All I can say is thank goodness this market is monthly!!
I couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous Fall day - cool, breezy and just so sunny! I had to snap away at the street art in this Bushwick neighborhood. It's a very cool and eclectic neighborhood!
While Tanya is spending another day in China, I'll be hosting an open house - hoping the perfect buyer comes today!!
Me and the girls are going to spend some time outside in this absolutely phenomenal weather.
Happy Veterans Day and God Bless all those who serve!!!
Three Kingdoms in Wuxi
Making her way through Wuxi, China! More to come! - E
Here are some more pics from today...