The First All-Vegan Fine Foods Market and Café in Fort Lauderdale
Vegan Fine Foods, America’s All-Vegan Market™, invites the press and public to its Grand Opening celebration festivities April 20 to 22, starting with a carrot ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:30 pm Friday the 20th. Mayor Dean Trantalis and Vice Mayor Ben Sorensen, along with other City Council members, will join Founder and CEO Steven Smith for some brief remarks to kick off a weekend of activities including prizes, product promotions and food sampling.
Vegan Fine Foods is the brainchild of Florida Atlantic University professor Dr. Steven Smith. He came to be a vegan to improve his health after seven years of hard work and stress getting two postgraduate degrees.
“I didn’t start out deciding to become a life-long vegan,” says Smith. “I started a plant-based diet just to get my health back and lose weight. After a few weeks on a healthy plant-based diet, I felt great and had so much more energy.”
After 20 years, he is still a committed vegan.
“I saw an opportunity for an all-vegan market because I knew that shopping was a lot of work and very time-consuming for those wanting to maintain a vegan healthy lifestyle. I went to supermarkets, green markets, local health food stores, all kinds of places just to get the foods I needed. Then, I had to read all the labels because meat and dairy products get slipped into a lot of foods, even wine! Preservatives too! I knew the ones that would do no harm versus the ones you should not ingest, but what about people who don’t know? My rule of thumb is the fewer ingredients the better, especially the ones that are hard to pronounce. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to go to a place where someone else did all the work, where you knew it was 100 percent plant-based and care was taken to select a broad array of super healthy products with some vegan indulgences mixed in?’ So I wrote my business plan. It took several years of planning to get to this point.”
Vegan Fine Foods is designed to appeal to a wide range of vegans and non-vegans alike, from raw vegan super healthy foods to kid-friendly Pinkberry vegan frozen yogurt.
“I still enjoy eating vegan meat and cheese alternatives occasionally and we are going to specialize in these types of vegan products, which are great for people transitioning to a more plant-based lifestyle,” says Smith. “People just learning about a vegan diet think vegans eat mainly salads, but nothing could be further from the truth.”
Vegan Fine Foods will highlight local vendors as well as national and international purveyors. The Inika Café, based right in the store, will also serve some great comfort foods that anyone would enjoy, along with a broad selection from Acai bowls to wraps to juices to deserts. With 31 percent of Americans now practicing meat-free days, Inika Café is a great place to go for a plant-based meal.
“We like to say we are ‘strictly vegan — but not just for vegans,’ ” says Smith. “Vegetarians, flexitarians, paleos, carnivores, anyone looking to enjoy some plant-based foods are welcome and will find foods that they will really enjoy from more than a thousand items we have in stock.”
“I chose our 4,000-square-foot location in Fort Lauderdale because it’s a wonderful community that is cosmopolitan, very vegan-friendly, with favorable demographics and proximity to tourist and visitor attractions. We intend to be a destination that people will visit when they come to South Florida. We are going to make Vegan Fine Foods a fun place to eat, shop, have coffee, a glass of wine, beer, or to just hang out. We have a great staff that is devoted to first-class customer service. Please come and see for yourself!”
Vegan Fine Foods, America’s All-Vegan Market™, is an all-vegan, plant-based fine foods market and café featuring hand-curated local, national and international food items, and fresh organic produce. Vegan Fine Foods’ mission is to get America to eat a more plant-based diet. Strictly vegan but not just for vegans™ is Vegan Fine Foods’ inclusive philosophy. The store’s first location is 330 NW 2nd Street in downtown Ft Lauderdale, Florida.