Tag Archives: vegan market

V Marks the Shop

1515 McKean St, Philadelphia, PA 19145
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I have talked on this blog about a bunch of restaurants, but kind-of shyed away from talking about vegan shops. There are two reasons- one was that some shops aren’t 100% vegan, and it felt a little bit like I would just be featuring a bunch of health food stores. The second reason was that there weren’t many shops to feature, they simply weren’t around me. But fast forward to now, and I think there are enough shops opening to make this a feature on the blog. So these are any shop that are vegan, whether it be food, shoes, clothes, bath products, or a salon.

I start this with V Marks the Shop. The store is owned by Carlo and Carmella who have been working on the shop for years. They started with a crowd sourcing campaign and fell short of the target goal. But they kept working at it, working on many many popup vegan events. They often had events centering around holidays, fundraising, or spotlighting vegan POC business owners. They sold vegan products on their website, focusing on local deliveries. But they have finally been able to open a brick and mortar store.

credit V Marks the Shop instagram

Right now, they are JUST starting out. We went after they have been open from about a month or two, but it looks like they are still feeling out more solid hours. I strongly suggest checking out their instagram or facebook to make sure they are open. They also seemed a little empty, but I have yet to go to a brand spanking new store and it not feel a little bare. Not to mention, I think they are selling out pretty fast with a lot of their products. When I visited they had mostly just food, but they will soon be adding books and clothing.

Even if you are just visiting Philly I suggest you check this place out. There are tons of fun products that are local or just a little harder to get, even at your local vegan market. I also would follow their social media platforms to keep up with any future pop-up events, as they love working with other vegan companies.

Lots of local companies. Just to name a few featured at their store, Fat Badger (packaged cookies PA), Philly Bread Co (fresh baked goods, PA), Crust Bakery (bakery, PA), Batter and Crumbs (bakery, PA), Baba’s Bucha (kombucha, PA), Nutty Novelties (nut butters PA), Om Sweet Home (vegan butter NJ), Freakin Vegan (prepared foods NJ), Miss Rachel’s Pantry (prepared foods PA), Blackbird Pizza (seitan and pizza PA), and FINALLY Soy Cafe (prepared foods PA).

Comparable prices! I was a little afraid I was going to get there and not afford anything. The profit margin of grocery stores are small, so I figured they would be several extra dollars for products. Not the case, as more food items were the same price as big box stores or were only 50 cents extra.

Events! They are still keeping their business model of keeping engaged with the community over ad space. They appear to be still working frequently with Tattooed Mom. Plus every Saturday they feature Sumthin’ Saturday in the store. That means every Saturday they will be planning something, whether it be demos from another vegan company, micro pop-ups, games, crafts, or speakers.

A wide range of products, shelf stable, fresh, frozen, etc. As you can guess from the list of companies above, there are some fresh made bakery products at the shop. There are also pantry staples and frozen goods like fake meats. But more surprising is that they have fresh vegan meats from The Herbivorous Butcher which I need to go back for their pepperoni!

Not all chocolates are on the F.E.P list. It looks like almost ALL are from there, but there are a few stragglers, mostly just novelty stuff like Go Max Go and No Whey! If you must, they do carry Moo Free which is on the list, while still making some novelty chocolates.

Naked Lunch at MOM’s Organics

1631 Kings Highway North Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
more locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., & Virginia
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When Alexa came to visit the Little Wolfie I thought it would be a good idea to get out of the house. We went to try out Naked Lunch- a small cafe attached to the food market chain MOM’s Organics. I am here to gush about both places. I know I don’t talk about markets that often, but I am totally digging this one!

I was pretty skeptical at first, MOM’s opened up across from the Whole Foods in town. I thought “who the heck would shop at MOM’s over Whole Foods?” There are definetly pros and cons between the two. The biggest (only?) con about MOM’s is that they don’t have a barista bar. Womp womp! And clearly there are some brands that aren’t available at MOM’s that are at Whole Foods. But on the flip side there are MORE smaller brands and products at MOM’s organics (and actual sales!).

They sell local ice cream brand Little Baby’s. They always have one vegan flavor for sale.

I remember coming into Whole Foods years ago and finding everything so new and amazing. There were so many eco-friendly and exciting new vegan products. But as time went on, it seemed to be not-so-special. I don’t know if it is because I am older, or if they got rid of the more unique items, but coming to MOM’s reminded me of the early days of Whole Foods and being excited about grocery shopping. There is a huge section of bulk foods including pastas, grains, beans, and soaps. They sell tofu by the pound and roast their own coffee beans. They are really interested in reducing their carbon footprint. Don’t want to waste a bag each time you buy beans? They sell glass jars to fill up, and I am sure you can bring your own containers.

There are also lots of products for sale that aren’t food. I almost flipped that they sold cloth diapers- the first store I saw them being sold in! I even bought a reusable coffee filter from there and they do seasonal collections for recycling items. Recently there was a jeans drive. At the exit there is a recycling bin for many different types of non-traditional items – snack bags/plastic bags, brita filters, corks, and shoes.

Any my favorite is that near the registers there are free cups of water- right next to the bottled water. How nice!

As mentioned they have a little cafe named Naked Lunch. Alexa and I ate here. They offer on tap kombucha, which isn’t as tasty as the ones at Whole Foods or Heart Beet Kitchen. It is a smidge too sweet for me, so depending on your preference, you might like it more. But the price is MUCH cheaper than the other two locations, so it is totally worth it. They also have fresh juices, though we didn’t try any of them.

The area for eating is very small, but there appears to be a wifi area on the second floor of the store. I haven’t checked that out yet, so I can’t make any comments on how nice it is. But I would ask the staff about it if you want to take your time eating your lunch.

All food is organic and vegetarian and the options that are vegan are clearly marked. The portions are huge! Alexa and I both had food to bring home, and used it in meals for several more lunches. I can easily say it is worth the $10 (roughly) that we paid for our meals.

I got the Lin Bowl which had tofu, brown rice, carrots, seaweed, zucchini, and kimchi. It was super tasty and reminded me of fried rice. I ate maybe a quarter of it while there, and proceeded to use the rice in wraps for 4 different lunches. I wish it had just a little bit more tofu to rice. But that is my only complaint.

asksalexaAlexa’s note: I ordered the Jammed Yam: Sweet Potato topped with pineapple-quinoa stuffing, avocado, and garnished with cilantro and jalapeño-lime dressing…

I loved how refreshing this tasted. I don’t think I would ever think to put all of these items together in one dish but it definitely worked.

The only thing that’s tough with vegan dishes for me is that a lot of times the dishes can lean towards being mostly carbs depending on the grains and veggies. I track my food on an almost daily basis (it’s not as grueling as it sounds – I promise!) so this really helped me meet my carb intake with the quinoa and sweet potato. The jalapeño-lime dressing wasn’t too spicy but definitely added a good flavor to the dish that was nice.

Like Jen said, we had plenty to take home, so I used it as a side for almost three meals after we went here!