Most know that when they consume a vegan meal they can help save the life of an animal and depending on the meal, also get lots of nutrients from plant sources and veggies. What many may not realize however is that there are often other less obvious benefits to the local economy and community when consumers support and encourage vegan businesses in their towns.
The benefits below are not all unique to vegan businesses only. However, many vegan businesses are uniquely committed to missions that lend themselves to these benefits. Let's take a look!
Reasons to Support Vegan & Very Vegan-Friendly Businesses in your Town
Reason 1 - Vegan businesses often fill hard-to-fill vacant spots.
Vegan businesses, while receiving more and more attention in the mainstream are still at this point 'niche businesses.' What does this mean for the towns and neighborhoods they reside within? It means that suddenly the area becomes a destination to visit for an all new demographic. People will often go out of their way and drive anywhere from 1-2 hours to frequent their favorite vegan or very vegan-friendly restaurant. This makes it possible for these kinds of restaurants to maintain a reasonable flow of traffic and maintain longevity (often in off-the-beaten path brick & mortar spots that would otherwise remain high-turnover or vacant due to lack of traffic and exposure). A great example of such a spot is the world famous Vegan Treats Bakery located on an inconspicuous side street in Bethlehem, PA. Bucks County itself also has several off-the-beaten path vegan-friendly restaurants that have celebrated anniversaries within their space that well outnumber the mainstream businesses that occupied the spot before them. Want to bring visitors into your town and receive a quick infusion into the local economy? Encourage a vegan business to open on your street or in your area.
Reason 2 - These businesses often have small, local business owners.
This one is somewhat obvious! While corporate chains make up a large portion of eatery options in the general sector, vegan businesses are often grass roots local operations. This means that a lot of what they do directly benefits the local community and economy. These are restaurants making your city, town, or county thrive even more! To check out a list of Bucks County's vegan and very vegan-friendly restaurants (most of which are locally and family-owned), check out our go-to favorites directory here.
Reason 3 - Many vegan restaurants utilize and promote local, in-season produce.
Let's talk about local produce and local produce farmers. Many decades ago before mass long-distance transit of goods was widely available, local communities had expertise on how to make the best use out of the vegetables and grains that were grown in their area during the growing seasons. They knew what to buy and make when, what veggies to pair with other veggies, and how to make the most out of everything. In doing so, they also supported their own local economies and produce farmers by buying local. Today, we don't always buy local because we don't quite know what's fresh at the moment, where to get it, or how to use it! Many vegan and vegetarian restaurants (along with other specially focused restaurants), have a great penchant for helping us with that. Examples in Bucks? Sprig & Vine in New Hope often makes amazing use of local and seasonal produce on their menu often. They provide not only an amazing place to eat but also great culinary inspiration. Just outside of Bucks County we have Lady & the Shallot educating an entire area on how to stay full and healthy incorporating local veggies right from the Trenton Farmer's Market!
Reason 4 - Many vegan restaurant chefs are experts at helping and showing the community how to get more veggies in their diet (whether community members are vegan or not).
Vegetable eating is making quite the comeback. After decades of popularized processed foods and other non-vegetable rich meal trends, the 2000's brought us a resurgence in interest in healthy bodies and getting back to nature. Vegetables are an age old essential for staying healthy and getting your nutrients. The only trouble is, if you grew up knowing only how to cook corn, meat and potatoes, you may have some chef's block (like writer's block) when it comes to figuring out how to tastefully incorporate a larger variety of vegetables into your daily meals. Vegan restaurants are a shoo-in for helping entire towns out with this! Not only can they help us get more vegetables through their often plant-rich menu items, they can also show us by example and inspire us as to how to do so at home. Many flavor combinations and proper spicing mixes to compliment veggies are observed via visits to vegan restaurants. Many of these restaurants employ plant-based chefs who are experts at these things. Some even offer cooking classes locally, many promoting and educating for healthier, more well-nourished communities. Right here in Bucks County for example, plant-based cooking classes are offered via Saucy's Kitchen and Dinner Service.
Whether you are vegan or simply can appreciate a vegan product or meal occasionally, you can help to infuse your local community with life, energy, and economic benefits when you support or encourage a local vegan or plant-based business. A thriving, healthy, and thoughtful local economy is a positive effect we can all love!
The Lehigh Valley is our Neighbor to the North. Here are a Few Great Resources You Might Like if You Spend Time just North of Bucks!
JUMP TO THE BUCKS COUNTY PA VEGAN FOOD DIRECTORY
If you're in Bucks, you're likely familiar with our neighbor to the North the Lehigh Valley! If you're taking a day or weekend trip to the Lehigh Valley, there are some great resources to find Vegan tips for your trip. Here are are few:
Save the Kales! - Save the Kales is an active group on Facebook that has a presence on other social media platforms such as Instagram.
Lehigh Valley Vegan - Lehigh Valley Vegan is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to increase plant-based options for restaurants and promote veganism in the LV, PA.
Vegan in the Valley - Vlogger Dylan Sweeney has stepped up to help you find vegan hotspots in the Lehigh Valley as well. You can find his new clips from the series Vegan in the Valley on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9wPNjCtL-M&t=22s
What are some of your other vegan resources for the area? If you have one we've missed, please let us know in the comments.
JUMP TO THE BUCKS COUNTY PA VEGAN FOOD DIRECTORY
New Jersey based restaurant Seed to Sprout celebrated the debut of a new complimentary market location this weekend in Avon-by-the-Sea. The new Organic and Plant Based Market, 'Seed to Sprout Pantry' is located directly adjacent to their Avon-by-the-Sea restaurant location at 408 Main St.
As the restaurant's website explains "Our Newest Labor of Love, Seed to Sprout Pantry is Open! We'll be fully stocked with a curated selection of your favorite packaged staples, premade offerings, homeware collections and some amazing local makers and more! We are SO excited to share this new space, right next door to our Avon-by-the-Sea Location..."
Seed to Sprout currently has two restaurant locations in Avon-by-the-Sea and Fair Haven New Jersey (right outside of Red Bank's shopping and restaurant district) as well as a bakery located in Wanamassa, New Jersey. The writers at Bucks County Vegan have visited both and can attest that they are well worth the trip. The signature staples like homemade coconut butter and other preservative-free and vegan ingredients make the meals absolutely delicious and the team is so helpful for visitors and first time customers!
The new pantry now carries an efficient assortment of many of the favorite cooking and baking ingredients the restaurant's expert plant-based chefs use to create the delicious breakfasts, lunches, dinners and pastries available at the restaurants.
At Seed to Sprout Pantry, raw vegan margherita pizza, homemade bagels, vegan cookie-dough, red lentil soup and macaroons stood out among the delicious-looking assortment of carry-out options on opening weekend. Toppings and dressings to take home included plant-based tahini, ranch, and 'Cashew Chedda' (which was sold out), as well as marinara, sauerkraut and more. Another cool favorite at the pantry - Vegan Cashew 'Parm.'
We absolutely recommend a trip to Seed to Sprout for a day-trip from Bucks. Now you can visit the Avon-by-the-Sea restaurant location as well as stock up on some of your favorite vegan goods and baking supplies right next door. ...or grab a delicious vegan bagel to-go at the pantry and head down to see the ocean.
BUCKS COUNTY Vegan
Exploring & sharing delicious veg' friendly foods in & around Bucks County PA. 🌱Bucks County Pennsylvania is centrally located between Philadelphia & NYC. ☕️Follow us on Instagram @buckscountyvegan. Twitter @BucksVegan.