Toronto-based vegan Jamaican patty company Choose Life Foods is now available for shipping nationwide through online vegan retailer VeganSupply.com. Choose Life founder Carolyn Simon—who prefers to be referred to as the company’s “Patty Queen”—created the business to give vegans and vegetarians an authentic Jamaican patty option that isn’t made with beef. The company currently offers patties in two flavors: Coconut and Kale (made with a combination of kale, carrots, and coconut milk); and Beefless (a savory soy protein filling, available in mild or spicy).
“I grew up eating Randy’s Patties located in the heart of Little Jamaica in Toronto. When trying to transition to a plant-based diet, I couldn’t find anything that reminded me of the patties I loved growing up,” Simon told VegNews. “Beef lard is usually in the flaky crust of a regular Jamaican patty, even if the patty has a vegetable filling—so vegans and vegetarians won’t eat it. I wanted three things in a patty: quality ingredients, a flaky crust, and a delicious filling because unseasoned food in the Caribbean is a crime. I started experimenting in my apartment and soon family and friends were repeatedly telling me I should sell them.”
Choose Life patties are also available in select retailers in Ontario and Quebec. Simon hopes to develop new flavors and product lines and eventually expand to other retailers in Canada and the United States.