|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
A Spotlight on Vegan Companies and Businesses
throughout the United States and a few beyond - updated May 2006
by M. 'Butterflies' Katz
co-author of Incredibly Delicious; Recipes for a New Paradigm
by Gentle World www.gentleworld.org
Vegan Food Companies (including chocolate) based in the USA (excl. California):
Chicago Soy Dairy has been in business for four years and they manufacture ONLY vegan products.
They say that they are the only soy ice cream that is made in a dedicated vegan facility, as well. (others are made in dairies). All of the staff and ownership is vegan. The founders have been vegan for 13 and 14 years.
Quoting Ron Howard, the owner, "I became a vegan 1/4 of the way into Diet for a new America while I was a sophomore in high school. I later studied Biochemical Engineering at Purdue University and knew that I wanted to do something in the natural foods area. The idea for a local soy dairy came up and my business partner, Dan Ziegler, and I got to work. We later developed Temptation non-dairy frozen dessert that is the bulk of our business."
Temptation Vegan Ice Cream comes in these flavors: French Vanilla, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Fair Trade Organic Chocolate, Fair Trade Organic Coffee, Peach Cobbler, Strawberry, and Green Tea.
Freezees Nutcreem makes ONLY vegan, nut-based frozen dessert.
For those wanting a non-soy based frozen dessert, they are a dream come true. Freezees Nutcreems are a delicious healthy vegan alternative, and I speak from experience!
The company owner is growing towards veganism and none of the staff is vegan. They have been in business for 15 years.
The products they offer are: No Butter Pecan,Vanilla, Strawberry, Fudgee Fudge Carob and Peanut Caramel Carob in pint containers. The novelties come in these flavors: Sweedee Pies: Crispee Cashew, Crispee Pecan and Crispee Fudge Carob.
When Jimmy Nutcreem discovered he was allergic to ice-cream, one of his favorite foods, Jim and his wife, Soon Chin, turned the problem into an opportunity. They invested their life savings and developed Freezees Nutcreem, a non-dairy frozen dessert.
Freezees hit the West coast market in May of 2000. Since then, their growth has been dramatic. Why? "Because we believe, you'll agree, it's the world's #1 and NUTTIEST ice cream alternative!" say the owners.
Soon Chin Rauls is the marketing
manager for Freezees Nutcreem, located at P.O. Box 410, Chino Valley,
AZ 86323 / Phone: (928) 636-9419 / Fax: (928) 636-1216
Harb Chocolate Corporation markets only certified vegan products which look simply incredible!
The company owner is vegan and has been vegan for 9 years. The entire staff are vegan, as well. They have been in business for 3 years offering 5 products: Peanut Butter Cup, Caramel Pecan Cup, Chocolate Peppermint Cream, Coconut Pecan Joy,and Peanut Butter Protein Cup.
Sharif Harb started the business because she felt there was a lack of vegan desserts out there. After she became vegan, she always craved something sweet. She missed the traditional non-vegan candies so began experimenting on how to turn them vegan. She came up with several recipes and then formed her own business.
Maine Coast Sea Vegetables sells ONLY vegan products. The company owner is vegan for 32 years. About 20% of the staff is vegan.
The company has been in business for 35 years and they won a Socially Responsible Business Award in 2004. They sell whole and milled, certified organic dulse, kelp (N. atlantic kombu ), alaria (N. Atlantic wakame), laver (wild nori), and sea lettuce. In addition, they offer Kelp Krunch energy bars, seaveggie flavored corn tortilla Sea Chips, and 6 varieties of spice shaker Sea Seasonings.
Shep Erhart, the owner, tells us how the business came to be: "In 1971 my wife and I were eating expensive Japanese seaweed on our macrobiotic diet. We saw something at low tide that looked good, so we started harvesting just for us at first. Then our friends wanted some and one thing has led to another, slowly and organically. In 1974, we stopped eating all animal food as part of a spiritual commitment to do the least amount of harm as possible. Our daughter was born that year and was raised vegan and still is at 32."
Smoke and Fire tofu line, is an all-vegan wholesale manufacture of 5 flavors of marinated, smoked tofu. The company owner is not currently a practicing vegan.
Mona Young was a co-founder of the original company (Smoke & Fire Natural Foods, Inc.). She is the founder of the new company; Heaven Earth Foods, Inc. which has taken over from Smoke & Fire.
The smoke and fire brand has been manufactured continuously since 1994. Product is widely available up and down the east coast and is just being introduced into the northern central states such as Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.
The company is very committed to sustainable; earth friendly practices. "We use real food and minimally process and our products are made in small batches by real people who are about the quality of the product and love what they are doing!" says Mona.
Turtle Island, makers of Tofurky, offer completely vegan products using non-GMO ingredients.
They are located in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, about an hour east of Portland, Oregon. Their plant, in Hood River Oregon, is on the Columbia River, approximately 30 miles from Mt Hood, elevation 11,234.
Seth Tibbott, the company president is a thirty year vegetarian. He has been vegan for periods of time throughout this time. Currently he is usually vegan. Seth started making tempeh and branched out into the famous Tofurky when he recognized a need for a vegan main course at holiday meals. Seth's vegetarianism has always been rooted in environmentalism.
Quoting their web site: "We make our products in small batches using only the finest organic and natural ingredients. No preservatives, MSG, or other artificial ingredients are added to our products. Our goal is to supply the residents of 'Turtle Island'with meatless food products that are delicious, nutritious, convenient and affordable. And, since 1980 we have been doing just that!
"At Turtle Island Foods, our products are designed to promote the health and vitality of both the people and the ecosystems of our 'island' home. The name 'Turtle Island' comes from a common Native American legend and it is their name for the North American continent.
"The company produces a line of organic tofu based faux meats in the form of: sausages, deli-slices, holiday products such as mock turkey, the best tasting tempeh, and super burgers; all very popular vegan meat alternatives because of the excellence of their products.
Turtle Mountain, LLC has been in business for 17 years, and all U.S. vegans are happy about that!
They are the producers of Organic So Delicious ice cream, Purely Decadent ice cream. L'il Buddies, Sweet Nothings frozen treats, etc.
Turtle Mountain began as a one man operation by its founder CEO/President Mark Brawerman (who is not a vegan). As a consumer of healthy food alternatives Mark saw a growing need for products that tasted like their dairy counterparts but contained no dairy ingredients.
Working on his own, Mark began to develop a series of non-dairy frozen desserts. Through considerable trial and tribulation Turtle Mountain was born. From the onset, Mark's vision was to provide consumers with only the best tasting products that Mother Nature could provide. His dream was to build a business that would be recognized as a leader in non-dairy alternatives.
Since 1990 Turtle Mountain has specialized in the creation and production of dairy-free frozen desserts. In the mid 90's it became clear that Turtle Mountain had a strong following of vegetarians and vegans alike. In recognition of their loyalty and enthusiasm for Turtle Mountain's products, Mark pushed to insure all products produced by Turtle Mountain were completely animal-free; a commitment that remains strong to this day.
A comment from Turtle Island: "Although we are recognized first and foremost by our products we are perhaps most proud of our contribution to the environment. As a sponsor of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) we provide much needed funds to help save the ever-shrinking habitats of sea turtles.Our dream is to one day hear that the populations of the many endangered species of sea turtles have stabilized and are on the rebound. Until then we will make every effort to help the people at STRP fight to save the wonderful creatures."
ZenSoy products are all certified vegan and organic. The owner and staff are not vegan.
The company has been in business since 1999. They manufacture and distribute soy milks (plain, vanilla, chocolate, and cappuccino) and refrigerated puddings in assorted flavors that come in a fun unique packaging.
The owner, though he is not vegan, was a visionary in that he saw the need for more soy products and then created wonderful tasting/consistency soy milk and soy pudding.
ZenSoy is a family owned business
located at 21 Empire Blvd., S. Hackensack, NJ. 07606 / Phone: (201) 229-0500
/ Web site: www.zensoy.com