Bring it Home Chicago

Did you know that the founder of Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen, Nena Ramirez, is now launching a great weekly vegan farmers market known as Vegan Paradise at The Plant, which is a research and production facility that comprises a collaborative community of many small food businesses in the area?

Vegan Paradise aims to educate the public about the benefits and advantages of eating fresh and locally grown foods while advocating greater access to healthy and fresh food for all community members.

If you are a vegan, you will be pleased to know that starting September 20, 2020, the highly-anticipated Vegan Paradise farmers market will be held at The Plant. You may know that the site belongs to a former meatpacking plant owned by Peer Foods in Chicago. This event is an excellent collaboration between the CVTK (Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen) and Bubbly Dynamics. Note that Bubbly Dynamics is an expanding social and business enterprise that helped turn The Plant into a successful small and mid-size business incubator as well as a production facility.

John Edel

The founder of Bubbly Dynamics, John Edel, purchased the building, once the home of Peer Foods, back in July 2010. He was prepping it in order to mark The Plant’s first decade with the majestic opening of the Packingtown Museum. The museum is an homage to the rich history of the Chicago stockyards as well as the Windy City’s meatpacking industry.

Whether you are a vegan or an omnivore, you will appreciate and like the novelty of browsing this amazing all-vegan outdoor market. The vegan market will showcase cruelty-free crafts, plant-based foods, and many other sundries that visitors can indulge in. As visits to the vegan market are timed, make sure that you register online in order to snag a free spot.  It is worth noting that initially, John Edel, Bubbly Dynamics founder, planned to host a museum to pay homage to Chicago’s meatpacking industry; however, he went with this vegan farmers market instead.

Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen (CVTK)

You may have heard of Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen. It is a collective market that features many local plant-based chefs, conscious body care products, and cruelty free crafters. Some of its popular events have usually been held at Emporium in Logan Square. 

Nena’s Vision

The historic venue for Vegan Paradise, The Plant, is located in the Chicago Stock Yards of the famous Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.  And Nena said that her hope is that the vegan market will help bring more accessibility and convenience to veganism in a region of the city where many people would not usually find it. She is also excited and thrilled to be hosting this vegan market in Back of the Yards, given its notorious history in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.

Did you know that this book was so impressive and influential that it helped spark a vegetarian movement? This is why Nena hopes that this new market will bring about some change in the way people approach food. Nena also feels that it is essential to recognize and understand the cruel and inhumane conditions that many animals and, perhaps more importantly, most humans face in food production in the country.

This is why the Chicago Vegan Test Kitchen (CVTK) has always successfully taken a unique intersectional approach when it comes to veganism. In addition, the market’s vision is also to empower the community via the support of local and sustainable economies by providing educational and outreach opportunities for the people.

Registration

While the Vegan Paradise event in Chicago will be free, it requires pre-registration. Also, keep in mind that all of the vendors will cook offsite. RSVP will also be mandatory for entry and note that donation-based tickets will be issued for specified and guaranteed hourly entrance times. This will allow everyone to fully enjoy the vegan market while adequately socially distancing.

For this event, CVTK is also partnering with Cruelty-Free You and Me (an organization that offers vegan meals for many summer camps) in order to create a convenient drop-off point for food donations. This initiative will benefit I Grow Chicago, which is an organization that is working hard to empower Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, which is a noble effort.   

Safety Measures

The Vegan Paradise will also enforce different safety measures in order to comply with various COVID-19 healthcare advisories, such as requiring face masks and checking the temperatures of both attendees and vendors. It will also carefully manage the flow of foot traffic to better allow for effective social distancing to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being. 

Also, The Plant’s new and improved retail space, dubbed the Turtle Stop, will now be open during farmer’s market hours. It will sell items from the building’s tenants.

And keep in mind that Whiner Beer, a brewery at The Plant, will likely have limited seating in the taproom, and there will be packaged goods to-go.