The restaurant-turned-convenience store is a common narrative in the world of the coronavirus pandemic. Forced to close or offer limited takeout, restauranteurs sold their toilet paper and sacks of flour in hopes to weather the quarantine. But the mother/son duo behind Harlem’s Seasoned Vegan managed to not only keep their business running, but launch a new venture as well. The Super Vegan Market makes online shopping for vegan products simple, convenient, and worry-free. Launched with an infomercial that you’ll want to watch again and again, the new business caught the attention of those seeking vegan-friendly antiviral supplies and chocolate peanut butter cups all in one place (because those are essential items in the world we’re living in). 

A safe place to shop
The Super Vegan Market upholds the safety of its customers in two ways—it eliminates the need to shop at multiple retail locations (and risk spreading or contracting the coronavirus), and it guarantees completely vegan products. Aisha Russell, Operations Manager of Super Vegan Market, explained, “There weren’t many options for vegans that guaranteed a curated, vegan experience. A lot of brands use animal derivatives that if you don’t do your research can easily trick you. Things like isinglass or carmine will seem harmless until you delve into what they actually are. We wanted to do that research in advance so that rookie and seasoned vegans alike could have a sort of sanctuary for their shopping needs.”

A vegan education 
This is the first time we’ve come across an Animal Ingredient Dictionary, but this unique tool is so helpful to new and seasoned vegans alike. Russell commented, “We understand that education is one of the most important parts of each person’s plant-based journey. How many times have you been eating something you assumed was free of animal products, to find out after the fact that it actually wasn’t? When reading labels, people know to look for dairy and eggs, but do they know to look for whey or cochineal or rendered fat?  Our market is not just a shopping tool, it’s a place where people can come to expand their pallets and their minds. We hope our community looks to us as a resource—not just a store. We added the Animal Ingredient Dictionary so everyone can have a trusted reference when reading labels.”

Supermarket essentials 
The Super Vegan Market was made with the home cook in mind. It includes spices and other essentials used by Seasoned Vegan so people nationwide (yes, they ship nationwide) could add restaurant-quality touches to their everyday meals. Russell affirmed, “Seasonings are a must!” but also offered an unexpected tip. “One of the lesser-used products that should be a staple in every home is essential oils. Whether it’s in your moisturizer, your diffuser, or your tincture, essential oils are a great resource, and when used in your food, these oils can give a healthy, vibrant flavor to any dish.” 

Vegan brands you don’t know about (but should)
In addition to vegan staples such as Braggs, Mrs. Meyers, and Justin’s, the shop carries a tempting array of lesser-known brands that the world needs to know about. Russell highly praised Brother Bru Bru’s African Hot Sauces and Honeybee Gardens—a vegan personal care and cosmetic company launched by an herbalist. While taking a deep dive through the site, we put a six-pack of Fever-Tree Ginger Ale, a bag of Artisan Tropic Plantain Strips, and a jar of Desert Pepper Corn Black Bean Roasted Salsa into our online carts. 

Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.

Photo credit: Super Vegan Market

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