Vegan vendors serve up plant-based snacks at Easton’s ‘VegFest’

Written by on August 30, 2021

Vegan vendors serve up plant-based snacks at Easton’s ‘VegFest’

By Megan Frank

August 30, 2021

Allentown-based food truck Bananarama says their dairy-free desserts are made of frozen bananas. Photo | Megan Frank / WLVR

EASTON, Pa. – More than 20 vegan-themed vendors shared their plant-based products at VegFest over the weekend in Easton.

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Visitors munched on snacks like mushroom jerky and vegan cinnamon rolls.

The event was organized by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce

Liana Marte, an Easton and Phillipsburg area director with the chamber, said the Lehigh Valley’s plant-based community is growing.

Thomas Hong runs Vegky, a New Jersey-based mushroom jerky shop. He says plant-based snacks are in demand. Photo | Megan Frank / WLVR

“It’s definitely here and it’s here to stay,” Marte said. “We have a really great vegan and vegetarian community. We’re actually looking to do a vegan restaurant week leading up to VegFest for next year.”

Shannon Van Wert from Allentown who brought her ice cream truck, Bananarama, to VegFest said the base of the dairy-free dessert is bananas.

“We take the frozen organic bananas, we run it through our machine, and it whips up into a soft-serve consistency,” Van Wert said. 

Thomas Hong runs Vegky, a New Jersey-based shiitake mushroom jerky shop. The jerky comes in flavors like spicy chilli, mild wasabi and barbeque. 

Hong said the plant-based snack options are in demand.

“People are becoming more aware of how environmentally destructive animal agriculture is,” Hong said. “As a vegan, I sometimes miss the consistency of meat, so this is an option that’s low in cholesterol and high in fiber.”

VegFest was organized by the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. Event director Liana Marte says the plant-based community in the region is growing. Photo | Megan Frank / WLVR

Festival-goer Nekisha Robertson from Easton said she’s been trying to eat vegan foods more often.

VegFest had options for pets too. A Lancaster-based vendor, Yam Chops, was selling yam-based treats for dogs. Photo | Megan Frank / WLVR

“I’ve tried for health reasons to make vegetables a large part of my meals,” Robertson said.

Tameika Smith from Bethlehem also attended to get a few meal ideas.

“It’s nice to see what options there are in the Valley,” Smith said. “I like that they have so much of a wide variety from snacks, sweets, savory’s, and fake meats.”

There were vegan options for pets, too. 

Lancaster-based vendor, Yam Chops, had bags of yam-based treats for canines for sale.

“A lot of people don’t know that their dog’s allergies really come from their food,” Yam Chop owner Kelsey Lenhert said. “These treats have no meat, dairy or preservatives. We’re targeting dog health and longevity.”

Visit the VegFest website to learn more.

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