Vegandale: Inside Toronto’s Mecca to Vegan Culture
3 Min Read By MRM Staff
Toronto’s vegan company, The 5700 Inc., is transforming Parkdale into Vegandale, a one-of-a-kind destination for the vegan and vegan curious.
The site is currently home to three vegan brands —Doomie’s Toronto, The Imperative and Mythology, top photo — and the company plans to double their footprint. Five more vegan projects currently in the works.
Located on one city block of Queen Street West, Vegandale is a mecca for the ethically minded and hungry, offering the best of vegan food, goods and services as well as promoting a world where animal exploitation is a thing of the past.
“Vegandale is just the beginning,” says Hellenic Vincent De Paul, Owner of The 5700 Inc. “World vegan domination begins in Toronto!”
The 5700 Inc. has their sights set on the expansion of Vegandale and has taken over leases at nearby locations including 1312, 1316 and 1346 Queen Street West. Joining the neighbourhood in 2018 will be three new vegan concepts:
With their roots in abolitionism, the company’s unapologetic vegan messaging is the connection between all of the projects they have a hand in.
Heading into its fourth season, the company’s Vegan Food & Drink Festival has also been overhauled with a fresh look and name – the Vegandale Food Drink Festival. Vegandale can’t be contained to just one city block, so organizers are packing up and taking their utopia on the road – showing other cities the ease and enjoyment of living without the use of animals.
Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine asked Eva Lampert, the Director of Vegan Operations to share some of the project details.
What makes Toronto such a vegan-friendly neighbourhood?
Toronto has become more and more vegan-friendly as new vegan businesses have opened and existing businesses have expanded their offerings. The availability of alternatives is making it easier than ever to be vegan!
What kind of response have you received?
We’ve had a great response in our hometown and abroad. Our two favourite customer experiences are that of a grateful vegan having vast choices and the non-vegans who experience a lightbulb moment through our outlets.
How do you plan to attract non-vegans?
It’s very important to us to attract non-vegans to Vegandale, in our effort to help more people go vegan. We do that by veganizing classic comfort foods (burgers, pancakes, etc.) and experiences (festivals, selfie rooms, etc.) so all tastes are suited.
How do you see the concept growing?
We plan to open more businesses along the Vegandale block, including three new restaurants in 2018. We will also expand the cities we travel to with the Vegandale Food Drink Festival. Since our first event in 2015, we’ve added a new city season! Entering our fourth season this year, we are set to kick things off in Houston this June.
Do you see it expanding to other locales, possibly where the festivals are located?
Our roots are in Toronto, but it would certainly be a dream to veganize businesses outside of the city!
What is the mission of Vegandale and The 5700 Inc.?
To put it simply, our mission is to help others go vegan. With the moral imperative of justice for animals as our ignition, we continue to grow our company inline with that mission.
What do you mean by “world vegan domination?”
We say “world vegan domination” as a sort of tongue in cheek nod to taking the vegan message all over the world.
Why do you feel growing a vegan empire is so important?
It’s most important for the animals. The further our reach, the more we are able to educate other’s on the importance of veganism.
What factors do you feel have influenced the growing interest in vegan culture?
Veganism has certainly been picked up by the media and is becoming more talked about each day. It’s important that we continue the education of veganism, so the growing popularity of it doesn’t minimize the movement to a diet or a trend.
As people see their friends and families thriving as vegans, it’s breaking down a of the misconceptions of who can go vegan, too.