Aisha Adams is a poet, social-prenuer, vegan, homeschooling naturalist. Her written work has appeared in places like the Birmingham Times, ...
Aisha Adams, left, with Sarah Yancey from Smiling Hara's Tempeh
Raf, Doriyan, and I enjoyed the first ever Asheville VeganFest which was held on Sunday, August 16. There were a lot of great local brands serving top notch vegan treats all gathered in Pack Square for a good time, and it was a benefit for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. We also saw a few farms and non-profit organizations set up too. It warmed my heart to see so many compassionate local brands all in one place. Finding vegan friendly places and products can be tricky sometimes; it can often seem almost impossible. With so much inclusion and local support, being a vegan in Asheville is pretty exciting.
Here are 3 brands that I learned more about at VeganFest:
1. Smiling Hara
My favorite dietitian Denise over at Vine Ripe Nutrition introduced me to Smiling Hara’s Tempeh when I directed her latest Youtube video. The Tempeh brought the Blueberry Kale Salad to life. At VeganFest, I got to catch up with Sarah Yancy (one of the owners, pictured above with me). Smiling Hara Tempeh offers soy and soy-free tempeh made from organic legumes. They are nominees for Martha Stewart’s American Made Contest.
2. Green River Picklers
Pickles are my favorite snack, and they always have been. When I transitioned to a clean diet, I was horrified to find that even the most common kosher pickles have Yellow 5 in them. For a long time, I was in search of not only a clean pickle but also a good one. I found it at the Hendersonville Tailgate Market. Green River Pickles makes the best pickles I’ve ever tasted. I use them on my salads or eat them straight out of the jar. At VeganFest, I learned they actually use raw cucumbers. I am sure that is a part of the reason I enjoy them so much.
3. The Hop
The Hop Ice Cream Cafe has been in Asheville since 1978, and I discovered it at VeganFest. While they sell all types of dairy based ice cream, pastries, and cakes, they also have an extraordinary vegan selection of sorbets and ice cream on their menus as well. At VeganFest, the three of us tried the Black Raspberry-Peach Sorbet and enjoyed it. I was surprised to find out they had 3 locations around Asheville. I am looking forward to trying out more of their vegan treats.