Hi there, friends, family and not-yet friends!
A few weeks ago, we wrote an article about how we support other small businesses by carrying many local, British Columbian and Canadian brands and that they are the very backbone of our business, and to a much larger extent- they are the backbone of the plant-based revolution.
Yes, the activists are the biggest momentum drivers for the movement, but the small vegan/plant-based businesses are the ones that help make the movement more commonplace within society. They lend authentication to the movement, and they donate to the causes for which we vegans stand for. Vegan businesses helped create the very food that we are so lucky to have available to us today; if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have 90% of the offerings that we do. If it weren’t for these small businesses, both retailers and manufacturers showing that there is a demand- then the big players in both industries wouldn’t have started to invest in the movement. Don’t get me wrong, as a vegan, I am absolutely thrilled to see that the big players have taken notice and are changing things up, but the truth is that they are doing this not out of compassion or even concern for the planet- they are doing it to drive profits. Look at what’s going on with Loblaws right now; they are being investigated for profiteering during the COVID-19 Pandemic and now seemingly taking advantage of inflation. You can read more from Daily Hive here.
At The Veganist, we know what the costs of these products are, and we aren’t getting bulk pricing discounts or brand deals like Loblaws, Walmart or even Save-On-Foods; yet in many cases, we have products for the same, similar or cheaper than these larger national retailers. This just goes to show that they are not in it to make food accessible but to make even more money than they already have.
This is why it’s so important to continue to support small local brands and businesses; without these small businesses, the large companies have a monopoly and will charge whatever they think they can get away with. On top of that, they aren’t there to collaborate with the small indy brands; rather, they are going to try and profit as much as they can off them by forcing them to give them discounts on their orders.
At The Veganist, we are all about collaboration and ensuring our vendors get paid fairly. We have helped small brands source ingredients they needed to evolve their product or to launch new ones, and we’ve taste tested, critiqued and come up with even new food concepts. We have teamed up with companies that may be seen as competitors (Little Vegan Treats, we see you) just to continue our mission of making vegan products accessible to more and more Canadians. Lori, who is the owner of Little Vegan Treats, is one of our suppliers, and we’ve worked together to host events (cancelled due to weather). As I mentioned, yes, she is our competitor, but we both believe that we can build each other up together instead of tearing one another down.
Esther and Ron of Decades Bakery– absolute gems they are. We’ve collaborated on new ideas and products which we now carry in store, and they continue to create even more yummy foods for us to enjoy.
Emma from Zimt now lets us use her space for Vancouver pick-ups, and we teamed up this Christmas to make hot chocolate mugs.
Talking about Emma, she introduced us to this absolute doll Anna who owns GourmetGroceries.ca (not all vegan), but her entire business is about yummy, Canadian-owned and Canadian-made products without a LONG list of ingredients- all at an affordable price. Is she maybe our competition? Yes, she is, but we teamed up and now host and plan pop-up market events at Zimt, our store (later this month) and other locations with other local vendors so that people can support local companies.
Salina from Pick Eco Refills, we have worked together on sourcing products, sharing pick-ups and order deliveries, and so much more.
There are SO many more companies and brands that we have worked with and continue to work with, collaborate and cheer on (Mindful Fud, we’re talking about you!), but you get the idea.
When you support us, or you support local vegan businesses and brands, you are not only spending money more ethically (we don’t support the meat/dairy industry), but you’re supporting connections, communities and innovation, all while keeping your dollars more locally than if you spent it at a larger company.
You support individuals and teams who are working together to improve the lives of our customers and to improve the world in which we live; you’re not supporting another CEO purchase a yacht or pay themselves with “record bonuses.”
This article isn’t written to toot our own horns or to say we’re better than other businesses, but to show you, the reader, that where you spend your money, how you spend your money affects the world we live in more than you realize.
If you wish to continue to have options and variety within your community- you have to support the community back, which means spending more money locally.
For more information on the benefits and effects of shopping locally, click the links below: