This summer, vegan pancake café and retail shop Coconut Whisk Café will open in downtown Minneapolis. Founders Bella Lam and Myles Olsen created the Coconut Whisk brand in 2018, offering vegan and gluten-free ready-to-make mixes for pancakes, muffins, cookies, and mug cakes. They started selling their products at farmers’ markets and quickly expanded to retail stores and online.
Coconut Whisk is now expanding to a brick-and-mortar location, offering Coconut Whisk mini pancakes and waffles and handcrafted drinks, along with a retail space that features vegan and gluten-free products, along with BIPOC- and Womxn-owned brands. Lam and Olsen have partnered with funding marketplace IFundWomen to host a crowdfunding campaign to help fund their expansion from an e-commerce business to a retail space, including renovation and build-out costs. Once open, they plan to partner with local nonprofit organizations that they’ll support through the new café.
“While in college, Myles and I went vegan because we saw how positively impactful it was for our health, environment, animals, and planet. After finding out that there weren’t any baking mixes on the market that fit our dietary choices, we were on a mission to find a solution,” Lam said. “As an immigrant, a first-generation college student, and a proud Asian-American… leading Coconut Whisk has been my life’s greatest and most humbling adventure. Through our work, I want to inspire others to lead with heart, take action and be fearless in the pursuit of their dreams.”