"Let me show you healthy can taste good."

Local business spotlight: Oly Vegan

I had the opportunity Tuesday to interview Leslie Baker, the owner of Oly Vegan. Oly Vegan is a vegan lifestyle shop in Olympia that opened its doors Dec 2011. It's the go-to spot in the south sound for cruelty free beauty products, T-shirts, bags, shoes, books, pantry items, treats & more.

I left with lemongrass soap made in Olympia, Merry Hempsters lip balms, Beauty Without Cruelty lip color, an Obsessive Confection Disorder Hippy Dippy crispie treat, Wholesome Foods lavendar cake mix & a cook book. When you get the chance to visit, check the fridge for an Oly Raw Rawnaimo bar.

Photo borrowed from web as mine had a reflection of
 myself in the window. Oops.

Why did you decide to open Oly Vegan?
There was nothing like it in Olympia. I wanted a complete vegan lifestyle store with items you can't find elsewhere especially the pantry items & treats. I wanted people to realize the options; anything can be veganized.

What has been the hardtest part of opening the business?
Getting the word out. Some days business is good & others are very slow. It can be discouraging but I have to remember why I'm doing this.

What has been the most rewarding part?
It is an important movement for health & the animals. I love when customers are excited when they find items they didn't think they could get locally. I also love visiting with people in transition. I have had elderly visitors who come in after watching Forks Over Knives.

What can we look forward to in the future?
August 26th at 7pm chef Joshua Ploeg will be doing an in-store cooking demo. The event will be a sliding scale donation of $7-12 & includes tasting some great food. We will also have signed books for sale.

You recently did a lifestyle transition workshop in partnership with Bearded Lady Food Co. Tell me a bit about that.
Night 1 was hosted in store. People learned by informative lecture, including how easy it is to meet protein needs, recipes & simple recipe substitutions. They received a sample menu of how to eat for a week. Night 2 was held at Bearded Lady. We cooked both savory & sweet recipes then pigged out.

What other local vegan friendly businesses do you support?
Bearded Lady Food Co, Darby's Cafe & Le Voyeur Cafe. (She also suggested Quality Burrito for tasty options. I had delicious tempeh tacos there after my visit to the store).

The details:
Oly Vegan is located at 313 5th Ave SE Suite A, Olympia, WA. Hours are 12-7pm Sun-Wed. Friday & Saturday hours are volunteer run so check the facebook page or call first. Learn more about the store on the website.

1 comment:

  1. I attended her vegan transition workshop just to learn more about cooking vegan. I have been following a vegan diet since the first day of the workshop. So much great information on how going vegan is not as hard as you would think. The second class at Bearded Lady Food Co. was just icing on the vegan cake.

    If you have been thinking about going vegan but think it might be really hard, stop by Oly Vegan and she will show it is not that hard. Also pick up the book Vegan for Life.