|Compassion and community at Coffman Union|
Despite game day traffic and the obnoxiously expensive parking rates that come along with U of M sporting events, this past Saturday the 2nd annual Twin Cities VegFest was a rousing success.
This year's gathering was considerably bigger than last, with food vendors including Flamingo Ethiopian
and Kitty Corner Cafe
; about a dozen companies handing out samples of their vegetarian goods; plenty of interesting exhibitors and speakers; and approximately 1,800 people in attendance.
Here are some highlights from the day.
We encountered some familiar faces almost immediately at the Punk Rawk Labs
booth. The raw vegan cheese company's co-owner Julie Morgan Wellman was there chatting with interested customers, handing out logo buttons, and offering samples of their brand new nacho-flavored cheese, a cashew-based creation that was spicy, salty, and delicious.
|Melt, slice, or shred, but it's all dairy-free|
The longest lines seemed to be in front of the Way Better Snacks
set-up, where reps handed out sweet potato tortilla chips and sprouted multi-grain tortilla chips. Also popular was the table manned by Chicago Vegan Foods
, maker of the popular Teese vegan cheeses, sold here at Seward Co-op
. Chicago Vegan handed out small portions of chips topped with their melted nacho sauce and optional vegetarian chorizo sausage crumbles. Dandies
vegan marshmallows, a dense gluten and gelatin-free confection that really melts, roasts, and puffs like a traditional marshmallow, were also available to try at their table.
|Coconut comfort caramels|
Another option on the sweet end of the spectrum were the candies from Comfort Candy
, a vegan confectioner specializing in coconut cream and corn syrup-based, rather than dairy cream and butter-based, caramels. We got samples of the variety with shredded coconut, which packed all the punch of a Girl Scouts samoa cookie in a teeny, sticky bite.
|"Honey" made from apples|
One of the most interesting products we discovered at the fest was Honee
, a locally made bee-free honey alternative that owner Katie Sanchez said she developed as a by-product of making apple jelly. Sweet, tart, totally vegan, and much cheaper than traditional honey, this product really surprised us.
Before leaving we grabbed swag bags filled with info from eco-friendly companies like Hour Car
and a giant Double Chocolate Decadence cookie from Alternative Baking Company
, based in Sacramento.
If you missed this year's VegFest, the next one is already in the works. Check the organization's Facebook page
to keep up to date.
City Pages on Facebook | Hot Dish on Facebook | Twitter | e-mail us
Get your tickets to this year's City Pages Iron Fork competition! Sign up for our newsletter below or click here to purchase directly.
300 Washington Ave. Southeast, Minneapolis, MN