Charlotte’s First VegFest Mini-Market

14224821_1031136450327161_6512562689754804062_n By Julia Simon (Cover photo via Nourish)

October 18, 2016

It’s hard to believe that Charlotte VegFest 2016 packed almost 4,000 people into the Grady Cole Center last May for a day of panel discussions, family-friendly fun, and insanely delicious food when you remember back a mere five years ago to its humble beginnings. The back lot of EcoLicious (now Gumbo in Plaza-Midwood) was dusty and windy, and there were six tents set up in a scattered formation, some selling baked goods, others offering juices and supplements, and even a lone brave food truck, squeezed right up against a fence. Each year since, it’s gotten bigger and, most importantly, more delicious as the Queen City becomes aware of its diet and shifts more toward plant-based eating.

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Terra Flora

With a bigger market comes more opportunity and Charlotte now has one of the most robust vegan culinary scenes in the Southeast. But there’s more than just food entrepreneurship happening; plant-based bodybuilders, multiple juice purveyors, vegan clothiers and talented cookbook authors, animal rights activists, even a vegan Nascar driver all call the Queen City home. So, why celebrate all that radness just once a year?

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Move That Dough Baking

That’s why on Thursday from 7-10pm at 7th Street Market, CLT’s finest purveyors of vegan eats and sweets are coming together to create a VegFest mini-market in honor of Viva Raw’s 5th birthday. Think: artful cocktails based on Viva Raw‘s gorgeous organic juices, brunch tacos with savory and sweet options from Terra Flora, Chik’n and (gluten free) waffles from Tephra, Polenta Pizza 3 Ways from Nourish Charlotte, Tamales from the Masa Casa, and perfect donuts (with ice cream, whaaaaat?!) from Move That Dough. They’re all packed into Charlotte’s first fully plant-based pop-up Food Court. Small plates will abound, so it’ll be easy to sample from everyone and still keep dinner under $20. Performances from local musician Elonzo Wesley, a packed raffle in honor of The Humane League, and MORE will round out the soiree. Come with an empty belly and full heart, and they’ll take care of the rest.

Parking is validated for the first 90 minutes of this event at the 7th Street parking garage. RSVPs are encouraged

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Viva Raw Cocktail

More about VegFest Mini-Market on Thursday, October 20.

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