Vegan restaurant That’s Soul Vegan recently opened in the food court of the Dayton Mall in Dayton, OH. Taking over the former space of Taco Bell, the new vendor is the first and only vegan eatery in the shopping mall. Owned by Ashaki Daugherty and Jose Estremera, That’s Soul Vegan offers a diverse menu of vegan soul food such as jerk-spiced cauliflower wings, vegan Caribbean beef patties, stuffed meatloaf, seitan-based Forbidden Chicken, and fried okra. “When I go to a food court, it always excites me to see and smell all of the variety offered [but] I’ve never experienced a food court that offered strictly vegan options,” Daugherty told VegNews. “Usually I’m stuck ordering some fries or a veggie spring roll but I want a hearty meal, too. The cuisine, the music, and the vibe [of That’s Soul Vegan] is meant to entice all people, and hopefully  get non-vegans to want to get a stuffed meatloaf from us instead of a cheesesteak (and they do!). The vegan community has truly embraced us as well, and has brought such good energy to our little space.” Daugherty said her former meat-based soul food business took a back seat while she committed to transitioning to veganism, and her passion for plant-based cuisine inspired her to open That’s Soul Vegan. Since opening, she has already had customer requests for cooking classes. Next month, Daugherty plans to offer weekly specials at That’s Soul Vegan such as Taco Tuesdays, seasonal soups, and her popular spinach alfredo dip.

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