You don’t have to be a vegan to love the gastronomic celebration at the NJ Veg Fest Vegan Pop Up Shop. Whether you’re a vegan, a vegetarian, vegan curious, a carnivore, or just enjoy trying tasty new foods you’ll have a great time sampling the goodies at the Vegan Pop Up Shop at Convention Hall in Asbury Park on January 21, 2018.
(Plus, there’s vegan speed dating — more on that below.)
Vegan hot dogs, savory empanadas and Sloppy Joes, veggie burgers, pizza, chocolate, pies, other decadent desserts, smoothies and juices, and more will be available — all completely devoid of animal products. In addition to the edibles you’ll find vendors of jewelry, handbags, shoes and clothing, a cookbook, a vegan recipe kit, candles, lipstick, t-shirts, briefcases, backpacks and skincare.
Morristown residents Kendra Arnold, founder of Bike & Walk Morristown and Morristown Vegan, and Marissa Sweeney, registered dietitian and owner of the Morristown wellness center Be Well, have been organizing these Pop Up Shops since 2016. The most recent was in Morristown at the Laundromat, a fun speakeasy with washing machines and dryers upstairs and a bar with lots of space for vendors (and a live band) downstairs.
According to Arnold, the most popular vendors have been Yeah Dawg, Freakin Vegan, and Screamers. Yeah Dawg makes savory plant-based hot dogs. Freakin Vegan is owned by two brothers who create dozens of dishes including vegan crab cakes, tamale cakes, pesto pasta, sweetheat chili, BBQ pulled porkless sliders, chik’n veggie pot pie, Spanish tarts, zucchini tarts, shepherd pie, buffalo chik’n sliders, and much more. Screamers Pizzeria’s menu features a wide variety of pizza toppings and calzones.
Last Pop Up’s breakaway hit was Gypsy Pops. They craft addictive cake pops and cake pop sundaes, Poptails, fresh fruit ice pops, watermelon bowls, and coconut bowls.
And now about the speed dating…
Find Veg Love is a dating service with a twist. All of the candidates are vegan or vegetarian so you will meet people with similar mindsets and values, or at least people who seek out restaurants with plant-based options.
After you check in and grab a cocktail or snack, the main event begins. You have five minutes each with four or five possible matches. No need to tell anyone then and there if you “like” him or her or exchange any contact info — instead daters mark “date” or “friend” by people’s names to indicate the type of relationship you want (if any). By midnight you’ll receive match information. Find Veg Love promises the process will be confidential, void of rejection, pressure-free, and non-judgmental.
Their website says that three out of four people find love at their first speed-dating event! If you don’t meet your soul mate during your first speed-dating experience you can just attend another. Founder Karine Brighten even provides a list of ten quality questions that will help you gather important information and insights about the possible mate sitting across from you. Learn more here — and if you’re interested, register in advance! These events tend to fill up fast.
Happy vegan eating and dating!
Here is a complete list of vendors:
NJ ANIMAL SAVE MOVEMENT– Featured non-profit
By Ren Jewelry — Jewelry, accessories, clothing, shoes, home and living, and much more
Chocolate Calling — Variety of tempting vegan chocolate bars, chocolate covered pretzels and potato chips, cookies, and more
CornKrush, LLC — Sweet corn cuisines: side dish, chocolate krush, and pumpkin and ginger
The Fanciful Fox — Hand crafted soap made in small batches, moisturizers, bath soaks and fizzies, and lip tints and balms.
Freakin’ Vegan — Full menu of vegan delights
Grape Cat Vegan Clothing and Accessories – Backpacks, briefcases, belts, hats, purses, wallet, and sunglasses.
Gone Pie Vegan Bakery — Luscious peanut butter caramel cups, brownies, blondies, pecan pie, fudge, and other delectable desserts
Gypsy Pops — Cake Pops, Ice Pops, and more
House of Cork NY — European-inspired vegan handbags and accessories made from lightweight cork
Homemade Betty — Body butter, baby care, deodorant, face mask/scrubs, sun protection, spa products, lotions, lip care, and lots more.
Juice for Us – Juices & Smoothies
Mary’s Place by the Sea — Vegan cookbook
Living Fully Well — Essential oils
Nature Has Flavor — Cooking kit, cookbook, and catering
neoliv Foods — Nutrient-rich, fiber-rich, and antioxidant-rich super-food Chocolith chocolate balls
Nitro Beverage Co.— Artisanal coffees, teas, lemonade, & kombuchas on tap
Samosa Shack — Handmade samosas and other Indian-ish vegan and vegetarian street eats
Sloppiest Joe — Vegan Sloppy Joes that taste like the real thing
Teeminder — “Life’s Reminders Down To a Tee”
Untamed Hearts — Beautiful and meaningful jewelry injected with the energy of love, protection, and healing.
Try Vegan — Food truck with Portobello burgers, smoothies, and more.
The Vegan Nest — Vegan recipes and videos
Vital Eats — Fantastic sauces, falafels, veggie burgers, roasted beets, roasted Brussels sprouts, and artisan fries
Yeah Dawg — Vegan hot dogs
Warmth Soy Candle Co. – All natural vegan candles and skincare products
Screamers Pizzeria — Delicious pizzas with many wonderful toppings plus calzones.
Rockin Raw — Plant-based Peruvian Creole cuisine
Purium — Whole food nutrition products
Lovely Lips with Jess — lipstick
Vegan Pop Up Shop
January 21, 2018
1300 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park