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The Great Vegan Grand Rapids Pop-up Bakery a Smashing Success!

We meet lots of wonderful people at our events. At a recent Vegan Drinks event, we met Natalie who works for Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters.

Natalie was very excited for us to work together somehow, we just weren’t sure how. We met with Natalie and the owner of GR Coffee Roasters, Craig, and checked out the space. Housed in a warehouse on the SW side, they have lots of room for an event, but what to do? We can’t quite remember how it all came about (I think it was Kolene’s idea, but she thinks it was mine), but the idea of a bake sale was thrown out.

We’ve got lots of great vegan eats here in GR, we’re very lucky. And sure, between Nantucket, Wealthy St./Hall St. Bakery, Propaganda Donuts, and others you can get your fix for vegan baked goods, but we don’t have an ALL vegan bakery. And that’s kind of a bummer to us, especially after we visited City Cakes in Salt Lake City – an out of this world all vegan bakery that made us realize how cool that would be to have here.

So as we talked more about the bake sale idea, we started to think about some local bakers who do amazing work, but don’t have a storefront. Soon we had half a dozen producers, and the Pop-up Bakery was born.

When we throw events that don’t require a ticket, it’s hard to know beforehand how many people will actually show up. Vegan Drinks has been incredibly successful, with the largest having more than 100 attendees. But Facebook RSVP’ing is a fickle game, so when we saw 340 RSVP’s for the bakery event, we hoped maybe half that many would show up. How many actually showed up?

A LOT.

We were unable to do an actual headcount, but if sales are any indication, half of us were sold out of product by 11:40am, just 40 minutes after the event started. Rise Grand Rapids who brought 125 GF/V donuts and plenty of bread was reduced to selling their (awesomely cool) t-shirts before noon. So yeah, we think maybe you guys, like us, have also been longing for an all-vegan bakery!

So now what? Well, just about every person we talked to hoped we do do another one, and all the sellers were happy and want to participate again as well – so it sounds like that’s what we need to do! We’re not sure yet on dates, but as soon as we know, of course we’ll let you guys know. If you want to make sure you’re among the first to know, make sure you sign up for our e-newsletter.

We’d like to say a special thank you to everyone who attended yesterday’s event. You are what makes our events so special, and your support means the world to us. Because you support the local vegan community, it means we can continue to throw them!

And of course, we’d like to thank all the wonderful vendors who made the amazing baked goods for everyone. Even if we throw another Pop-up Bakery, please remember that all of these companies will take your orders online (and in some case, you can buy their products in stores). So consider supporting them all the time, not just during our events!

Last, but not least, is an extra big thank you to all the staff at Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters. Without their hard work and use of their space, none of it would have been possible.

We’d love to hear from you. What did you like about the event? What would you change for next time? Would you attend again if we threw another?

Thank you, as always,

Jon & Kolene

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