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Anyone know a Vegan Chef?  I would prefer a Vegan Chef since I am planning on opening a Vegan restaurant / store.  This is only in "idea (planning) stage."  The goal is to buy a retail space first and then open a Vegan store or restaurant.  I wanted to speak to a chef and get some input from his point of view.  I'm just gathering information right now.  I have spoken to several Vegan companies like Enjoy Life, Liz Lovely, Alternative Baking and so on to carry their products and what it will take to become a distributor.

I would prefer only to carry products that are made in dedicated facilities, like the companies listed above.  I will be staying away from companies that make their products on the same machines that processed products that contains milk, egg, whey, and any animal products.

Oh' what about the name of the store or restaurant?  It needs to be crafty and not alienate the "carnism" audience.  People has it on their head that vegan food taste like cardboard and such (we all know this is not true).  So, if the name of the restaurant sort of hints Vegan food, you lose most of those folks already without trying the food or coming in the restaurant.  We want them to come in and try the food, maybe they will like it so much that they will come back or at least start thinking about become vegetarian, or part vegetarian.

 

Thanks for you input and suggestions!  Yes, this will be a bike friendly store/restaurant.  :)  

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Hey Steve. Vegan chef here with tons of experience. Email me. B.byxbe@yahoo.com

Here are 2 additional local vegan chefs

1. Laviyah Ayanna, https://www.facebook.com/laviyah?fref=ts.

2. Linda Szarkowski, https://www.facebook.com/linda.szarkowski?fref=ts.

I prefer restaurant names that don't explicitly define the restaurant as vegetarian or vegan--at least, not until you read the fine print (e.g., Quesadilla la Reina del Sur). For inspiration, here's a list of top veggie/vegan restaurants in NY: http://blog.zagat.com/2013/01/new-york-citys-8-best-vegetarian.htmlfrom. I like the name Dirt Candy but most of them don't refer to the veg aspect or else it's so subtle that I'm not picking up on it. 

Steve, It's great to hear what you're working on! Please message me to talk further. I am a vegan chef and have helped open and worked at various veg restaurants. I have tons of homework already to go.

Steve, you might want to review this info about opening a restaurant or food establishment in Chicago:

http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/restaurant/restaur...

Also, there are TIFF set asides for small business and facade rebate funds.

And energy-efficiency incentives from ComEd for energy-efficient commercial kitchen equipment, lighting, etc.


Joel Berman said:

Steve, you might want to review this info about opening a restaurant or food establishment in Chicago:
http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/restaurant/restaur...

Also, there are TIFF set asides for small business and facade rebate funds.

Hi All - my apology for the long delayed response.  I will be getting in touch with a few of you in the next week or so.  Joel, thank you very much for the link about small business owner.  I would like to try for the leed certification but I will have to read more about it.

Steve,

Feel free to call me, I have many years experience designing restaurants/bars/bakeries/grocery stores in Chicago. I am LEED certified and can explain how the program works and the pros and cons. You might also consider working toward a green restaurant certification. My cell is 773.454.6192.

Joel

Steve, There is a Free food business conference you should check out.

Recipe for Success: Starting & Growing a Food Business in Chicago
Saturday, April 27, 2013
University of Chicago Law School
1111 East 60th Street

Recipe for Success is a free conference for food entrepreneurs.  We'll start with breakfast and a panel of entrepreneurs who have successfully broken into the food business who will share challenges they’ve faced and lessons learned.  Then, we’ll move onto the complicated world of licensing for food businesses.  During lunch, we’ll have more information about resources, and Booth students will host a mini Shark Tank where attendees can sign up to give a 2 minute pitch and receive feedback.  Following lunch, we’ll host breakout sessions on hiring workers, finding a space, and getting your product into stores.  Lastly, we’ll have the executive director from farmhouse at Leo Burnett presenting on marketing your brand. You can find more details on the session on our website: http://ij.org/recipeforsuccess.


Steve: 5-7mi said:

Hi All - my apology for the long delayed response.  I will be getting in touch with a few of you in the next week or so.  Joel, thank you very much for the link about small business owner.  I would like to try for the leed certification but I will have to read more about it.

Guys, thank you very much for all of your help!  The U of C seminar was very helpful.  I got to meet the president of Farmedhere and Goodness Greeness   I will be meeting up with them in two weeks to talk about buying from them for all the produce we need for the restaurant.

 

My week should be slowing down and I'm going to get in touch with Joel, Brandon, Laviyah, Linda and Josh.

 

I am currently trying to write the business and vision plan with my attorney.

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

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