On November 15, Chattanooga, TN-based vegan butcher Your Local Seitanist will open a brick-and-mortar location—the first and only vegan deli in the city. Willow Street Deli will offer grab-and-go items such as assorted deli salads, seitan by the pound, small-batch cheeses, and rotating comfort-food specials of Creole and French cuisine, including Po’boy sandwiches, Cajun pastas, Boudin, and fried green onions. The deli will also provide retail space for local farmers and businesses to sell their produce, fresh bread, chocolate, kombucha, pastas, and candy. The deli previously offered its products at local markets and online, but it recently raised more than $10,000 through an online crowdfunding campaign to renovate and buy equipment for a new space and train new employees to assist with increased production. “I realized most people are turned off by the thought of ‘vegan food’ so I decided to provide an outlet to bridge the gap,” Your Local Seitanist founder Linley Danielle told VegNews. “By providing a familiar surrounding with common menu items you’d find at your omni deli, I’ve noticed a lot of people are more open to the idea of cruelty-free cuisine.” Over the next year, Danielle plans to involve her local community by offering vegan cooking classes and implementing a “grab one, leave one” program where customers can purchase a meal for someone for a few extra dollars when they purchase a meal of their own. She also plans to expand the business to accommodate full table service in addition to the deli.
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