By Michele the Trainer
An all vegan store is a dream for many, but it’s becoming a reality in a number of countries throughout the world.
Munich, Germany in winter is like being inside a magical snow globe. Am I dreaming or did I visit an all vegan supermarket* in that snow-globe-setting in Munich? I did! As vegans, we all dream of a vegan grocery store filled with only vegan food. Imagine a store where the shoppers may also be vegan and compassionate, where shoppers resist the urge to automatically read labels (it’s elective!) and you look at each other and give a fist-bump-like connection with your mind’s eye, silently saying, “I’m vegan, you’re vegan, how cool is that—I get you.”
Veganz was founded in 2011 by a vegan former senior manager of Mercedes Benz, Jan Bredack. Veganz motto is “Wir lieben Leben” (we love life), and it’s the first vegan supermarket franchise in Europe, based in Germany. They plan to open 21 stores across Europe by the end of 2015, and it seems there are at least 7 stores now open in Germany, one in Prague, one almost in Austria, with plans for London and more.
Upon entering, the front of the store hosted an amazing bakery café, Max Pettchen (the bistro little brother of the larger Max Pett - Das vegane Restaurant), with vegan smoothies, coffee drinks, hot chocolate, and juice. They even had vegan falafel, schnitzel sandwiches, and soup (dahl was the soup of the day). (It looks like the bistro has closed since then.)
The store was well merchandized. Past the bistro, you grab a cart and are right in the produce section with an excellent selection of fruits and vegetables beautifully arranged. One shelved row nearby had all raw vegan foods (including chocolate, of course). Further into the store, there was more chocolate in the not raw bar section. This store had everything you could ever dream of and every brand you love: Sunwarrior, Tofurkey, Gardein, Daiya, Dr. Bonners, Field Roast, and many, many more.
Veganz also has a zillion other brands that were new to me. More vegan food is awesome!
The rear of the store had walls of tall refrigerators full of mock dairy, ravioli, gnocchi, tofu, tofu products, and more deli type mock meats. A wall near that had all the unrefrigerated boxed nut milks.
The middle of the store had shelves of food with every grain you could imagine. A couple chest type display freezers were full of ice cream, gelato, and sorbet, and another freezer with pizzas, Tofurkey, Gardein (the most comprehensive selection that I’ve ever seen for either brand), along with some brands I was not familiar with but delighted to learn.
The store also had vegan household products, pet products, beauty care, vitamins, cosmetics, and more.
Of course with the limited refrigeration of travel, it’s not like I could fill up the kitchen. And when I wrote the post Checkout This Vegan, I never thought I’d be in an all vegan store where cross contamination does not exist!
We will, hopefully, see more stores like this in America in the future, and when we do, I’ll see you at the checkout!
*Los Angeles does have Viva La Vegan, but due to the heavy traffic, I have not been there yet. Funny that I made it to Munich first.