Yesterday for the first time ever, I sold vegan food to vegans and non-vegans alike, and they loved it! I’m more excited than words can describe 🙂
I’ve only been to Naturals in the City (NITC) once before, about a year ago. I absolutely loved it. It started as a natural hair meetup and it has evolved to a natural lifestyle convention. It’s a platform for people to learn about (and bond over) all things pertaining to building a more natural, organic and healthier lifestyle.
Sadly I’m always either not in Lagos when it happens or just too busy to attend. As usual, I was not expecting to be around for this 15th edition. But as luck would have it, 2 weeks to the event it turned out that I would be able to make it this time. As I scrolled down Natural Nigerian’s blog post about it, I noticed something – she said to contact her if one was interested in being a food vendor. A light bulb literally lit up over my head. Could I do it? My gut said yes, but my head tried to talk me out of it. “You’ve never done anything like this before. There’s no way you’ll be ready in two weeks”, said my head. My gut told my head to shut up. I was totally doing this.
I spent the next weekend frantically planning and planning and shopping and prepping. There were so many things to figure out. What should I serve? How many should I make? How would I keep the food warm? It was really hectic and I got hardly any sleep the night before, but somehow everything came together Saturday afternoon. My friend Jennifer helped me with the sales, while Ojiugo took photos.
There were a few mishaps. First, the toaster blew up as soon as I plugged it in. Then I discovered that I had left the pies in the oven at my friend’s place where I had baked them that morning. Thankfully Jennifer (bless her) saved the day; she went home to get her own toaster and also helped me pick up the pies.
After the initial hiccups, things went pretty smoothly. Lots more people than I expected came by the stand, and they were really open to trying the food. The mock corned beef sandwiches especially went pretty fast. Apart from the fact that they were just so darn delicious, I think the ‘free payment’ model also encouraged trials – people were allowed to pay whatever they wanted for the sandwiches. I really enjoyed engaging with customers, answering their questions about the food and talking about vegan cooking. One precocious little boy (whom I later found out is Kitchen Butterfly‘s son!) was very interested in the recipe for the Boozy Brownies. Apparently he’s quite the baker himself.
Here are some pictures and video from the event:
I’m so happy I could share the joy of vegan food with other people, and I’m looking forward to doing this again, bigger and better. If you weren’t at NITC this time, make sure you don’t miss the next one. Next time I might even have vegan soup & swallow 😉