Inspired by the vegan lifestyle movement and the many health benefits that come along with it, Vegano’s founder and CEO, Conor Power, wanted to adopt more plant-based food choices into his diet. Vancouver, Conor’s hometown, recently ranked sixth among the most vegan-friendly cities globally (and Canada’s only city to make it on that list). Although there is no shortage of vegan restaurants in Vancouver, Conor wanted to try his hand at cooking plant-based meals at home. He soon learned that making vegan meals from scratch can be tricky, especially when you’re a busy professional.
Conor turned to meal-kit delivery services, and although many of them offered vegetarian and vegan options, the majority of the menu items still contained meat. For many people, being vegan isn’t just about cutting out animal products from your diet — it’s about adopting lifestyle choices that benefit animal welfare and the environment. Knowing that many meal-kit companies still processed animal products within their facilities didn’t sit right. Conor knew that there had to be other people who felt the same way. People who want to live healthier lifestyles by limiting or cutting out animal products and who want to support a company whose values and vision resonated with them.
Launching a vegan brand
Conor is a venture capitalist by profession, so starting a vegan tech company was slightly out of his wheelhouse. After reaching out to a few people in his network, he connected with Kaylee Astle, a seasoned tech executive and start-up enthusiast who also happens to be vegan. Kaylee was born with an intolerance to dairy, so she is no stranger to the healing benefits that plant-based food offers. Kaylee loved the idea of creating a company that allows people to embrace plant-based lifestyles and one that also uses technology to deliver high-quality food products. In March of 2020, they combined forces and founded Vegano – Canada’s first and only 100% vegan meal-kit delivery service.
Conor and Kaylee approached some of the world’s top culinary visionaries to concoct delicious vegan recipes that even novice home cooks could prepare in 45 minutes or less. They were on a mission to bridge the gap between nutritious, homemade vegan dishes and convenience, making delicious plant-based food products more accessible to the general public. Their goal was to help people transition to a more plant-based lifestyle, even for just a few days a week.
Vegano’s sustainability commitment
While veganism benefits the environment by eliminating the impact that carbon emissions livestock farming produces (and its impact on climate change overall), Vegano didn’t stop there. Vegano’s recipes are inspired by the seasons, using farm-fresh produce that is sourced locally when possible. Further, Vegano’s perfectly portioned meals minimize food waste, which aligns with its Empty Kitchen policy — the Vegano team uses any leftover food at the production facility to make soups or sauces, leaving the kitchen completely empty, and ready for the next week’s delivery boxes. Canada wastes approximately 2.2 million tonnes of edible food each year, costing Canadians over $17 billion. Vegano is committed to environmental sustainability and uses post-consumer recycled packaging that can be recycled or composted easily.
Plant-based vs vegan
The term plant-based causes some confusion, as many food items on the market are plant-based but may contain trace amounts of animal products. Because Vegano is 100% vegan, subscribers can rest assured that they are ordering from a company that prides itself on being cruelty-free. Because Vegano processes zero animal products in the facilities, the risk of cross-contamination is significantly reduced. To learn more, check out Vegano’s blog post that explains the key differences between plant-based and veganism.
The future of Vegano
In addition to its vegan meal-kit delivery service, Vegano will be launching a 100% vegan marketplace in Spring 2021. The eCommerce site combines the product offering of a boutique vegan grocer with a seamless online shopping experience. Shoppers will have access to everything from pre-packaged meat-alternatives and dairy-free milk to keto-friendly and gluten-free products. Vegano has set its sights on expanding outside of Vancouver to bring its vegan meal kits to Montreal, Toronto, and LA, by the end of this year.
“Vegan doesn’t need to be complicated — it just needs to be delicious,” is a statement that Vegano stands by. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian, Vegano is dedicated to making tasty vegan food options more accessible to Canadians, one box at a time.