This idea of opening a Vegan Grocery Store started more than 10 years ago. So many thoughts, conversations, and handwritten notes on ideas created with my daughters over the years. They were exhausted of listening to my ideas and me doing nothing more than talking. About 5 years ago I settled on the concept of a central location for vegan provisions, more talk, more notes. more ideas. No action. I had a well paying technology job with great benefits that I honestly loved. However in the last few years I found my passion and drive in tech had slowed (maybe me, maybe the companies I chose to work with, most likely a combination). So I chose to leave my most recent job in January of this year.
Now what? I knew that I no longer wanted to work for a machine or standard business operation because of politics, red tape, and being paralyzed with the inability to get things done.
Then, the stars aligned. I had a long time business partner and colleague reach out about a program she was offering: Career Leap – Your Power to Reinvent Your Career in 60 days #CareerLeap. A program and network dedicated to help professionals who feel stuck in their career or feel like they want to achieve more, realize their strength, find the career they want for themselves, and gain the courage & tools to chase it. I signed up: https://www.ilanagolan.com/careerleap
About half way through, it became crystal clear that my heart and passion was in doing something in the Vegan world. Within a month, I was fully committed to starting this business, Mashup Market. Since February, I have navigated Federal, State, County, and City government to get this thing going. Not to mention identifying the best vegan foods, distributors, designing space, figuring out social media (well the basics), taxes, spend and order of appearance for progress! I feel very accomplished right now, even though we are not yet open (but so very close).
I have not done this completely alone. My list of cheerleaders include my mother, friends and two fabulous daughters, along with their significant others that provide input, advice, and taste testing. My friend and family panel incuded: vegan, vegan friendly, vegitarian, hardcore carnivores, gluten free, and lactose intolerant diets.
In my past life in technology I have worked on many start up businesses, started a business/product service at Cisco – all successful and enjoyed them all – but this has been the most rewarding, challenging and exciting venture I have yet experienced!
All that said, I have a few specific businesses to call out here that have provided this project with the most amazing support and ask that you check them out:
LuckyMouth: Lucky Mouth Grocery: Home
Plan Based Grocery: Plant Based Grocery: Vegan Market | Local & Curated
Rabbit Food Grocery: Rabbit Food Grocery: Home
These are all entrepreneurs in the vegan grocer world and have been so open and helpful in my many questions during this journey. I can only say that the vegan community is like no other in their support for each other!
I’ve learned that if you find your passion, work will not be work. Take charge of your destiny. Mine is to provide a vegan store where all items are vegan safe but also offer options and information to plant based/vegan, environmentally-concerned or folks with dietary restrictions. Supporting small and local businesses is a priority by bringing the best new products to the surrounding community in a friendly, informative, and accepting way to all.
Thank you for all that you do for our community.