43.1 F
Thursday, December 3, 2020

New fully-vegan mercantile headed for downtown Bellingham

Owners Tara and Nate Johnson perfected their craft while owning and operating local food truck.

V GO’s storefront is located at 1213 Cornwall Ave. This small business will be unique to Bellingham as its sole fully vegan shop. // By Tara Johnson

By Mallory Kruml

Tara Johnson plans to change the world with food, starting in Bellingham. 

After owning and operating a vegan food truck, Johnson took what she believed to be the next step in her 7-year-long vegan journey in August. 

Along with her co-owner and husband Nate, Johnson signed a building lease to fulfill their dreams of opening a fully vegan one-stop shop in the heart of downtown Bellingham.

“We named it V GO’s like vegan on the go,” Johnson said. “We want anyone to be able to walk in, vegan or not, and easily make good food choices for their bodies and the planet.” 

V GO’s will be a convenience store with a focus on educating the public and will feature a small restaurant to complete the experience. 

The restaurant portion of the shop is based on the couple’s vegan food truck, Sage Against the Machine, and will include recipes originally developed for the truck. 

Limited seating will be available as well as big refrigerators of food that customers can take home and heat up, along with vegan meats, cheeses and assorted produce. 

“We’re calling it a mercantile because it’s a combination of a lot of different things,” Johnson said. 

The owners hope to create a cool, hip space with fun music, art and handmade vegan goods and products, Johnson said. 

Kristine Duncan, a registered dietitian of 25 years and a professor of nutrition at Skagit Valley College, explained that vegans typically have both healthier body weights and body mass indexes — the ratio between weight and height. 

“My number one tip for aspiring vegans would be to go out and eat a vegan meal at a restaurant,” Duncan said. “They’re going to give you roasted vegetables or tofu like you’ve never had, which can be a great introduction to veganism and show you just how delicious vegan food can be.” 

When Johnson and her husband first started, they had a hard time finding customers that were willing to give vegan food a shot. Now they pride themselves on their persuasive powers. 

“We’d give out samples of nacho cheese on chips and throw a little bit of barbeque jackfruit and let them taste it,” Johnson said. “Just tasting our food and realizing it was delicious was enough to change their mind about vegan food and keep them coming back.” 

Margaux Cudaback, a fourth-year at Western, has been vegan for close to 4 years. While she views Bellingham as a vegan-friendly city, Cudaback said she has a difficult time going out for a vegan meal.

With only one fully vegan restaurant in town, Cudaback looks forward to V GO’s opening.

“I go to multiple grocery stores to fill my pantry with vegan food, so it will be great to be able to have a one-stop shop for all my grocery needs,” Cudaback said. 

Johnson plans to hire a few crew members and secure their vendors and inventory in the coming months. 

The two owners hope to have a  COVID-19-conscious grand opening sometime in January and urge the public to check out their Facebook for updates to come. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



Zoom bombing halts Shred the Contract meeting

Tougher security will help stop future zoom bombings Generic zoom photo

Holiday shopping could make or break small business during the pandemic

A gift guide to popular Bellingham businesses Local ingredients at Clara’s Canning...

Best sports memories from notable Bellingham figures

Stanford’s David Shaw, others recall favorite Bellingham moments. WWU’s 1996...

Latest News

Laura Wagner and Althea Frye selected as the first co-vice chairs of the AS Senate

The vote came to a 10-10 tie, leaving decision to AS Senate Pro-Tempore

Western Volleyball signs new recruits

During the early signing period, the Western Volleyball Team signed three new recruits for the 2021-22 season.

COVID-19 cases surge across Whatcom County as holidays grow closer

Cases nearly tripled since last month This graph shows the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Whatcom...

Western students save $44.79 on student fees

Board of Trustees pass 7.5% reduction for winter 2021, less than fall 2020 11.4% reduction  Students will...

Work on changing systems instead of yourself

Clothes dryers in WWU’s Birnam Wood main laundry room.  // Photo by Sadie Fick By Sadie Fick

More Articles Like This