DiscoverPivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series
Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series

Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series

Author: Vegan Mainstream

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We live in fast-paced times, and in an ever-changing marketplace business owners must be able to adapt readily. The Pivot podcast, hosted by Stephanie Redcross West, features interviews with successful vegan business owners, keeping you up-to-date on topical issues & how the pros are handling them.
59 Episodes
MEET OUR GUEST: Pleese is a plant based cheese developed by New Yorkers specifically to melt on pizza. Pleese is all natural, made from bean and potato proteins and crafted using traditional methods. Pleese is so good that people can't tell the difference and is approved by the world's harshest food critics - kids from NYC. They were supposed to run a test launch with their products in cafeterias last April, and needless to say the pandemic / lockdown completely changed those plans. They had just produced the first commercial batch and when these venues closed they didn't know what to do. So, they turned to Facebook and asked people if they knew any restaurants that wanted to try vegan cheese for pizza. The response was overwhelming and they went from zero prospects to 45 in two weeks. They finally launched in September to an overwhelming response. So much so, that they have been having trouble keeping up with the demand ever since. WB:  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
MEET OUR GUEST: The purpose of is to help people pay more attention to their health. Our subscription boxes contain nutrient-rich foods with new themes every month, helping people consume foods that provide them more essential vitamins and minerals and shift away from junk food diets. The business actually started off as an all-natural hangover solution. Shortly after departing my marketing role with another company, I had my first 625 units of artichoke leaf extract powder shipped to my house in North Carolina. While traveling through South America, legend has it that this cured hangovers. I tried it and it worked so I decided to start a business out of it! The day it got approved to sell on Amazon, the FDA ruled that hangover cures are illegal unless they are registered as drugs. My business idea stopped in it's tracks. Shortly after, I founded Vegan Health Pack as a monthly subscription box that help people get all-natural sources of B12, Calcium, Vitamin D, Iron, Zinc, Protein, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. I brought together many companies products and sold it as a subscription box. Through covid, many of them couldn't supply the product anymore. So I came across and article where artichoke leaf extract was clinically proven to lower cholesterol vs. a placebo. After speaking with marketing and branding experts, I've pivoted the company to turn the business into natural plant-based foods that help with cholesterol, heart health, and I have ambitious plans to build out a line of natural WFPB products that people can eat and enjoy. I'm sure there are many pivots ahead, but it's a lesson that the original plan you have in business is always changing and, in my opinion, for the better. To help people give up junk foods and pay attention to their health through plant-based foods is a great direction to now be headed in. WB:  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
MEET OUR GUEST: Vegan Launch combines investment crowdfunding and eLearning so vegan-friendly retail investors can “vote with their investment dollars” to grow ethical vegan, environmental, and health businesses. Millions of investors are searching for companies that match their vegan ethics, yet only 1 in 200 vegan founders succeeds in raising capital. Investors and founders lack education in early stage finance. 99% of investors are left out, and 99% of vegan founders will fail.  Vegan Launch provides free mentoring for vegan founders and online public access to vegan deal flow for investors to create turbocharged growth for the vegan sector. Marketing of public investments helps expand cultural adoption of vegan values while growing market demand for vegan enterprises. Since 2001, founder Mark Winstein has focused on public investing for environmental and social progress. Previously, he co-founded a national environmental group and built a for-profit conservation business. Mark went vegan 2016 and never looked back! LI:  FB:  YT:  TT:  WB: Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
MEET OUR GUEST:  Jess McKay Puppets makes professional hand puppets for film/tv/web and stage projects. All puppets are made using 100% vegan materials. Jess McKay is also a SAG-AFTRA puppeteer, and the creator of Probably Witch, the internet’s most musical witch. In his industry, there is a huge blind spot: feathers in puppets. Ostrich feathers are a very common building material. It takes at least 40 turkeys to make one big bird costume.  Jess sees a direct parallel between the use of fur in fashion and the use of feathers in puppets. He has been speaking up for animal rights in the puppet industry and working to make using feathers taboo.  He has been developing feather alternatives and sharing his finding with the industry. He has already made some waves, and lots of people agree with him. He has received so many messages of “I just didn’t know” and “I never thought about the birds”. Another big issue for Jess as a puppeteer is that he will not participate in any shows that promote animal abuse. This means pretty much no cooking shows or commercials that promote non-vegan goods or services. This sets him apart from most other puppeteers in the industry. He also speaks out against this abuse, which angers other puppeteers in the industry. He has been told multiple times that his vocal activism costs him work, and he considers that a form of anti-vegan bias and discrimination. WB:  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
Ghostwriter turned international bestselling author Mitali Deypurkaystha, aka 'The Authority Creator,' transforms coaches, consultants, speakers, and entrepreneurs into thought leaders by becoming published authors within 90 days. Featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, she's helped her clients generate over $5 million in revenue.   In 2009, she adopted a rescue cat, and she witnessed sentience beyond what she believed animals were capable of showing. She realized that we're duped into believing animals are dumb as this suits certain industries. She became vegan in 2013. In 2021, inspired by the growing number of vegan business leaders and entrepreneurs, she decided to focus on serving these inspirational people by helping them to raise their authority. She envisages a day soon when eating and using animal products will become archaic, but that can only happen if the world's vegan voices become louder. She's made it her life's mission to make this happen. FB:  TW:  IG:  LI:  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
MEET OUR GUEST: An entrepreneur residing in Charlotte, NC. Ussery started her career in Charlotte interning with the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and Duke Energy. She then lived and worked for 20 years in Detroit, MI directing internal and external communication activities for C-Suite executives in statewide government and private global companies. She partnered with Erika Boyd to co-create the Detroit Vegan Soul restaurant brand in 2012. The pair own and operate two restaurants and have provided employment opportunities for many people who otherwise would not have the opportunity to work and advance in the food industry. Website:  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
MEET OUR GUEST: We’re Kakadu Creative – a full-service, ethical, sustainable, cruelty-free design agency with a track record of 5-star customer service. We specialise in helping you to engage with your customers and stand out from your competition so your business can grow. We’re a small team of creatives with a mission to make a positive impact on the world through creating the best work for businesses like yours.  We know that no two businesses are alike, which is why we don’t believe in copy and paste templates. And which is also why every project is a team effort, with you at the heart of it. We put planet before profit and support other businesses with the same ethos. Everyone has a part to play in creating a sustainable and ethical world. But nobody ever said it had to be with boring, generic design.  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
MEET OUR GUEST: Heidi has been vegan for almost 7 years. In 2016 she accidentally started her plant based meal prep business which has evolved into educational workshops, writing an e-book (vegan bible), vegan lifestyle coaching and now business coaching. Her love of sharing vegan food with others inspired her to mentor other vegan women to start their own small businesses. She also moved down to Mexico during covid and became the first vegan business in town as well as started an all-inclusive vegan bed and breakfast where she could serve her food piping hot with like minded friends! Website: La Casa Amarilla  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
MEET OUR GUEST: Gloria is a vegan blogger who decided to cook vegan meals for the community. When Covid hit she had to switch up the strategy so she decided to do cooking demos via zoom. She did a small catering with masks and social distances enforced. Since Covid started she has been doing a mix of online vegan cooking demos and small catering for customers. Gloria turned to zoom for the cooking demos. She has also created online cooking class on Eventbrite. She is a blogger and she works full time as a Nurse’s Aid in a local hospital and do her vegan cooking as a side job to generate extra income.  FB:  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
MEET OUR GUEST: Sarah Eastin is a Professionally Trained Vegan Hospitality Consultant and Plant Based Chef who helps Restaurants and Hotels in Colorado and beyond fulfill the demand for creative plant-based cuisine. Her services include detailed menu consultation, recipe development, vegan-oriented press and assistance with plant based alternative food sourcing.  Since 2018, Sarah has supported restaurants by organizing pop up dinners, conducting training workshops on plant-based culinary arts, providing kitchen-standards consulting and vegan product launches. She is a leader in the Colorado vegan community and manages regional operations for an annual international hospitality event that promotes mainstream restaurants to vegan customers.  As a long-time vegetarian, now vegan she struggled for many years to find plant-based options in her community and when traveling. Now that many people are going vegan for their health, the environment and for the animals she recognizes that hospitality services may need some assistance having the best cuisine available in this changing food landscape. She can help your establishment do just that! WEBSITE:  ----- Never Miss An Episode - WATCH NOW: Pivot! A Free Vegan Business Interview Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
MEET OUR GUEST: Former corporate executive, Nivi Jaswal, has had quite a journey from marketing mayonnaise to becoming a Mayo Clinic certified coach. The milestone of that journey was her Ketogenic diet and the various structural biases she faced in the corporate world being a young, ambitious & high-achieving woman of color.  After healing on a whole foods plant based diet, Nivi started her non profit The Virsa Foundation. A Bachelor’s in Psychology and an MBA in Consumer Behavior Marketing has enabled Nivi to develop a unique nonprofit that is committed to ethical responsible behavior-change research, coalition building and campaigning with a focus on Intersectional Veganism. From underserved rural women artisans in India to low income underserved women of color in the U.S, Nivi’s work celebrates the Divine Feminine. Nivi is passionate about Intersectionality in Veganism. She believes that systemic racism, gender biases and systemic speciesism are very, very closely connected. She wants Jiviniti content to stand for that and for the vegan movement and other social justice groups to understand the need to unite and align the objectives. WEBSITE:  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
Pioneering pastry chef Fran Costigan, chef, author, and Director of Vegan Baking and Pastry at the Rouxbe cooking school, is internationally renowned as the authority on vegan desserts. Dubbed the Queen of Vegan Desserts for her groundbreaking work. Professionally trained, Fran was a chef in both traditional and vegan pastry kitchens before moving into teaching 25 years ago. Fran is a professional member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, ACF: American Culinary Federation, Les Dames Escoffier, and the Association of Food Journalists, Fran is a proud to serve on the advisory boards of the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, Main Street Vegan Academy and the Vegan Trade Council. Her cookbook Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts is available in German, French and Italian editions, and follows the classic, More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally. Website:  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
MEET OUR GUEST: I am a vegan lifestyle coach educator certified as master in Mainstreet Vegan Academy. I am also a licensed psychotherapist in CA and AZ. I am part of a group Private Practice in LA and a national program providing tele therapy. I offer individual and group sessions I am also a certified dance movement/therapist and expressive arts therapist. I have had bariatric surgery in 2012 when I was not vegan. I lost 150 lbs. When I wanted to transition to vegan after visiting a Farm Sanctuary I could not find support. I had to do a lot of research and figure it out myself. This inspired me to delve deeper and I attended Vegan Mainstreet Academy in Dec 2019. My business specializes in people who have either had bariatric surgery or are interested in transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. I work with eating issues, eating disorders in my psychotherapy practice as well. And of course I am thriving as a bariatric vegan myself. FB:  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
MEET OUR GUEST: Our mission is to help people eat more plants and less of everything else. We believe that no one should feel judged for how they eat, so part of our mission is to maintain a supportive, kind, inclusive, non-judgmental, and helpful community. We celebrate human imperfection and we like diving into the messy bits of life. TW:  FB:  IG:  WEBSITE:  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
Meet Our Guest:Main Street Vegan Academy trains and certifies Vegan Lifestyle Coaches & Educators in exciting real-time courses that cover every aspect of the vegan lifestyle. Our respected faculty prepares committed vegans with the skills to succeed as a vegan coach, influencer, or entrepreneur, and we provide post-course support and networking. Our graduates hail from 30 countries and their businesses include vegan retailing, manufacturing, food service, fashion, education, and more. Since its inception in 2012, I took great pride in Main Street Vegan Academy's being in person in NYC, complete with field trips. We've shifted to Zoom and it's been wonderful, so post-COVID we'll offer the course both ways. The big pivot for me was having a business at all. I've been a writer since my teens and my first book, Compassion the Ultimate Ethic: An Exploration of Veganism, came out in 1985. I never expected to be in business, but the 2012 publication of my book, Main Street Vegan, sparked a podcast, a production company, and Main Street Vegan Academy. That's when I learned that the key to a successful pivot is acceptance, to lean into the new way, the new phase, and not stay stuck. Website  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
Meet Our Guest: Liz Gary is a plant-based foods educator, food writer, digital media designer, and emerging ePublisher with her first book for print, Black Belt in Tofu. With over 25 years experience working as a foods educator and ten years mastering the plant-based diet, Liz has uncovered a timely and valuable recipe for success. It’s an expansive and impressive menu of new food options that promote a healthier, cleaner, greener future while providing incredible culinary joy and satisfaction. Nothing left to be desired, she proves you can just about have it all again plant-based. A two-time PETA Activist award winner, Liz Gary has pioneered foods education programs at every grade level and mastered the art of bringing community groups together to share and discover the joy of plant-based foods. Website:  Never Miss An Episode - WATCH NOW: Pivot! A Free Vegan Business Interview  Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
Meet Our Guests: We’re on a mission to empower those who want to promote a sustainable and plant-friendly future. We believe that by providing people who want to positively shape the world with the right skills and knowledge, we can create a community of change-makers, influencers, and innovators.  Therefore, if you’re someone with a passion for supporting your community, giving a voice to the voiceless, or benefitting the environment, then our v-learning platform is for you. Website: Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
Meet Our Guest: I'm a Family Nurse Practitioner that is an expert in plant-based nutrition. In my primary care organization I started a Plant-Based Outpatient Nutrition Program that in the past year has successfully transitioned to virtual in 2020, reaching over 200 families. I also run Nurse Eugenia Nutrition at which I do 1:1 health coaching and carefully organized group programs to help folks with the last 10% of their health journey. My specialties are in weight loss, PCOS management, diabetes reversal, and cancer prevention. I love hearing from my patients and clients DAILY how the information they've learned about plant based nutrition has improved their health and lives. Social: @nurseeugenia (IG) Website: Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
Meet Our Guest: Aline Duerr of Vegan Interior Design, an educational platform teaching interior design students and established interior design businesses how to include a fast-growing conscious market into their customer base. Her interior design business used to be very much face to face and one on one before COVID-19. From March onwards, not only did the commercial interior design work that she used to do for over 8 years drop, she also had a 2-year-old toddler at home again every day who wanted to be entertained. Rather than seeing it as a problem, she took this situation as an opportunity to finally turn my face to face client focused business to an extended educational platform teaching international interior design students and established interior design businesses about how to include a fast growing conscious and vegan market into their customer base and widen their skill set. To complement the courses, she wrote and published a book called 'Vegan Interior Design' which has been highly successful all over the world since its launch in October 2020. This 'forced' pivot from a small face to face service based company to an educational platform actually enabled her to reach a much larger audience and create an incredible network and community within a very short time; to help designers all over the world progressing the vegan interior design movement; to reach non-vegan designers, students and 'every day people' by educating them with her book, her courses and resources; to be filmed and featured in a new vegan documentary explaining that veganism is not only about food and fashion and to organise the world's first Vegan Interior Design Week ever in 2021. This pivot gave her a push to become the leader of a vegan movement and she is very grateful for it. Social: IG: LinkedIn: Vegan Interior Design Facebook: Vegan Interior Design instagram: Website: Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
Meet Our Guest: The VeggiDome keeps vegetables fresh out on your table throughout the week. This new category of food display introduces a unique way to keep healthy plant-based food available. A unique change for the modern kitchen. VeggiDome is no longer able to sell the VeggiDome at festivals, Home and Garden shows, and VegFests because they were all canceled. Now they show and sell them online exclusively and through word-of-mouth Social: IG: FB: Twitter: @veggiDome Website: Never Miss An Episode - WATCH NOW: Pivot! A Free Vegan Business Interview Subscribe to Pivot! A Vegan Business Interview Series on Soundwise
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