While it’s great that consumers can now walk into the supermarket and pick up a gallon of oat milk or order their favorite plant-based burgers on Amazon, there are plenty of independent vegan products on the market today that you likely won’t find at those big name retailers.
These independent brands offer everything from vegan desserts to plant-based, ready-to-eat meals and tend to be family-run entities with impactful stories. For example, Denise Woodard, the founder and CEO of Partake Foods, was inspired to create her brand of cookies and baking mixes after her young child was diagnosed with a litany of food allergies.
Noticing a gap in the market of allergen-free foods that also tasted good, Woodard launched Partake, which produces sweet treats that are made without wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, and shellfish. Partake products are also gluten-free and certified vegan. The independent company, which now counts Jay-Z and Rihanna as investors, is sold in Target, Kroger and other popular retailers.
Keep reading to learn more about impactful and independent vegan brands that deserve a spot on your grocery list!
This NYC-based brand makes West African food such as Obe Ata soup—a tomato-based dish— and Ata Din Din sauce, which is made of caramelized vegetables. Though not every Egunsi product is vegan, the brand’s website has an entire plant-based section with an array of flavorful options.
Additionally, Egunsi sources its produce from local farmers whenever possible, and partners with farmers in Africa to source their raw materials.
This brand of Asian starters that include “all the sauces, aromatics, seasonings, citruses, and oils that decades of tradition call for” was started in 2020 by Vanessa and Kim Pham—sisters and the daughters of Vietnamese refugees.
While not all of Omsom’s products are vegan, there is a special plant-based set that contains the Japanese Yuzu Misoyaki, Korean Spicy Bulgogi, Chinese Mala Salad, and Filipino Sisig starters. What’s more? Each starter was developed in conjunction with expert chefs, including Jimmy Ly of Madame Vo in New York City and Deuki Hong from San Francisco’s The Sunday Family.
The sisters also avoid use of the word “authentic,” which can be burdensome for BIPOC chefs and cuisines, and have frequently shared resources in an effort to combat anti-Asian hate.
Partake founder and CEO Denise Woodard was inspired to launch this brand in 2016 following her young daughter’s food allergy diagnosis. That’s why all of Partake’s products, which include baking mixes as well as crunchy and soft cookies, are non-GMO, free from the top eight allergens (wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, and shellfish), gluten-free and certified vegan.
The brand also has a Black Futures in Food & Beverage fellowship program for actively enrolled HBCU students, which pairs young people with mentors in the food industry.
This bakery was founded by sisters Carmen Rodriguez and Gina Madera in 2010. Although it’s not vegan, its menu includes plant-based cupcake jars with tasty flavors including bourbon vanilla, French toast, Oreo, and chocolate peanut butter.
Noona Ice Cream
Noona’s was founded in 2016 with the goal of making Asian-inspired ice cream and dairy-free frozen desserts in delicious ways. Though not all of Noona’s flavors are vegan, the brand does make plant-based varieties such as matcha green tea, rose ginger, and black sesame. Per the Noona website, each flavor is inspired by ”our Asian American background and food experiences with others.”
The plant-based options are 100 percent vegan, dairy-free, nut-free and soy-free, and made with organic coconut milk.
Whipped Urban Dessert Lab
The Black woman-owned Whipped Urban Dessert Lab was founded by Courtney Blagrove and Zan B.R. on New York City’s Lower East Side in 2019. The dessert destination bills itself as the
“world’s first oat milk ice cream shop” and it sells an array of vegan ice cream flavors including salted pecan and strawberry shortcake. Whipped also has vegan toppings such as chocolate cookie crumble and coffee sauce.
This vegetarian ready-to-eat brand boasts plenty of vegan options like Buffalo cauliflower and veggie hemp bowls. The family-owned company grows its own crops in Italy and freezes all its veggies at peak freshness so they can retain their nutrients and still taste great by the time they reach your dinner table.
The company was founded by Sarah Galletti, a creative-turned-food entrepreneur with a background in the music industry.
This woman-founded brand produces immunity-boosting drinks and shots that are crafted by holistic nutritionist Cindy Kasindorf, who started the company. Remedy Organics’ beverages are made with superfoods, ayurvedics, botanical herbs and prebiotics, as well as adaptogens, which are botanicals that can impart strength, energy, stamina, endurance, and mental clarity.
Per the Remedy Organics website, the vegan products were designed to provide “strong functional health benefits in the areas of immune health and digestive health.”
Agni is a woman-founded brand that creates vegan boxes packed with foods and ingredients. Each box is tailored to women in different life stages. For example, the Fertility Box includes hormone-balancing foods designed to boost fertility, while the Better Periods box contains foods that support healthy hormonal function, and therefore healthy cycles.
This plant-based gelato brand was founded by Jared Olkin, a lifelong ice cream enthusiast, after he switched to a vegan diet. Revolution makes dairy-free gelatos using cashew and coconut milk in flavors such as French Press Coffee and Majestic Mango.
The company also creates vegan Mini Pies, which are rich cookie crusts filled with creamy gelato and topped with deliciously crunchy chocolate.
Omni Bev is a one-stop shop for all-things Vietnamese coffee, and the brand uses beans sourced directly from founder and refugee Tammy Huynh’s family-owned farms in Da Lat, Vietnam. Omni Bev launched its ready-to-drink bottled Vietnamese cold brew back in 2019, including two vegan varieties made with coconut milk, and the California-based brand also sells its own line of coffee-brewing tools.
Additionally, Omni Bev is an inaugural partner of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance in Vietnam, which helps improve the livelihood of women in all sectors of the coffee industry in that country. All of Omni’s coffee is sustainable and certified fair-trade.
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