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Great food speaks for itself, and it tastes even better when it’s supporting Black-owned women’s businesses. Each entrepreneur featured here was founded on a desire to bring healthy, nourishing food to every community and was born out of a personal vegan journey.
The following five women have put more than just plant-based ingredients into their food, it’s about changing the food system, and bringing more Black women business owners to the forefront of our changing food system.
1. Pinky Cole – Slutty Vegan
Something of a celebrity in the vegan fast-food world, Pinky Cole is the founder of Slutty Vegan. What started as a kitchen enterprise became a busy food truck and in 2018, Slutty Vegan landed on the Atlanta restaurant scene. From social media burger seller to restauranteur, Cole has never lost sight of her ultimate aim: to bring healthy vegan food to a community that has historically never gravitated towards it. Now, everybody wants it, thanks to the decadent creations and nostalgia-fuelled recipes.
Don’t miss: The One Night Stand burger, loaded with burger patties, bacon and cheese. The sweet potato pie is a must for dessert, if you have room. Even if you don’t grab a slice for later.
2. Samantha Edwards – New Breed Meats
A self-styled ‘health evangelist’, Samantha Edwards founded New Breed Meats, offering plant-based alternatives to conventional meat. What makes Edwards so interesting is her intensely emotive journey, which she freely shares with people. Crediting plant-forward living with healing her mother of breast cancer, she considers animal-free diets “heaven sent” and has sought to make them as accessible as possible to all communities. Taking the time to get certified in plant nutrition, she has gone on to formulate not a meat substitute but a “new life”, as she calls it. Products can be sourced in the U.S.online, direct from New Breed.
Don’t miss: The Sizzling Sausage Patties. You’ll never crave a drive-thru breakfast sandwich again.
3. Carolyn Simon – Choose Life Foods
Affectionately known as the ‘Patty Queen’, Carolyn Simon has had a love affair with Jamaican patties since her childhood. When she moved to a plant-based diet, she found herself disappointed at the lack of authentic patties that gave her a nostalgic hit with every bite. Making them for herself, her friends and family soon suggested that she started selling them and Choose Life Foods was founded. Today, her Jamaican patties with no meat can be found in the freezer section of grocery stores across Canada and online.
Don’t miss: The beef patties are a no-brainer but don’t snooze on the Coconut Kale Delight.
4. Cara Pitts – Southern Roots Vegan Bakery
It’s not a cliche to say that southern food has a little extra love in it. For Cara Pitts, it’s especially true, as she began developing vegan treats for her 98-year old grandmother, who she was caring for. The decision came after Pitt’s husband, Marcus, embraced plant-based eating as a result of working in healthcare. Developing animal product-free doughnuts that she regularly took to the church led to Southern Roots Vegan Bakery being founded. Today, cookies, doughnuts, and cakes, all vegan, are available for shipping across the U.S. Products can be frozen for up to three months, making them a different breed of bakery goodness.
Don’t miss: The Mary Lee’s Favorites Bundle. Named after Pitt’s grandmother, there’s a little extra heart and soul in every bite.
5. Janay Jones – Rooted Delights
Turning vegan wasn’t a struggle for Janay Jones, apart from one issue: she missed cheese. Fed up of disappointing flavours and mouthfeels, as well as allergen ingredients, she decided to tackle the problem head-on and founded Rooted Delights. Today, Jones creates small-batch vegan cheese wheels with oat milk bases. Products can be sourced at selected grocery stores in Richmond, Virginia, and foodservice partners use it as well. Online sales are currently paused.
Don’t miss: The Mozzah. It’s a melty, stretchy delight that amps up fresh pizzas and pasta dishes.
Check out more female founders, changing the alt-protein landscape with their companies.
All images courtesy of individuals featured.