I accidentally stumbled upon The Vegan Vault’s Facebook page one day while I was lazily browsing stuff online. I’ve been enjoying a more plant based diet since last year, so I wasn’t surprised when I became interested in attending their launch last April 1st. It was the first all-vegan market in the city and I wanted to see what they had to offer.
I asked S to accompany me, mainly just to see if I can make him try vegan food and if he’ll end up liking it. He wasn’t very keen on attending, to be honest, but he agreed. 😉
ORGANIZATIONS AND VEGAN PRODUCTS
There were several organizations and entrepreneurs focused on vegan friendly products who participated in The Vegan Vault. We weren’t able to visit each one and/or take photos of them, but we did get to do a bit of research on a few:
The Wellington Rabbit Rescue (WRR) is a non-profit organization who gives shelter and care to rabbits. The bunnies they have are up for adoption and/or foster care. There are other ways to help them out with their cause, such as donating, sponsoring a bunny or buying WRR merchandise from their online store. They have clothes, stationery and even cases for your gadgets for sale.
Helping You Help Animals (HUHA) is a charitable trust which provides home to rescued animals. They have two animal shelters, both of which are no-kill zones. Similar to the WRR, animals under HUHA’s care are also up for adoption to those who are looking for pets to be part of their families. I checked their website recently and saw that there are several animals you can adopt. They have dogs, cats, horses and even piglets up for adoption.
The health and beauty brand The Aesthete Alchemist was an interesting one. They sell handcrafted balms and other products made here in New Zealand. I didn’t get to buy or sample some of their products yet, but I have to say that their packaging was beautiful. From the soaps and lotions to the cleansers and makeup removers, each piece was so nice to look at. I can’t help but think of the medieval era.
Our favorite Chur Bro Churros was part of The Vegan Vault, but we decided to try food from the other stalls on that day. There were a handful of other ones we just wanted to check out!
The Wellington Chocolate Factory was one of the two stalls I was most excited for. I’m a chocoholic and have consumed a ridiculous amount of store bought chocolate since arriving in Welly. I wanted to try the organic, bean to bar chocolate Wellington Chocolate Factory were making.
There were so many choices that S and I had difficulty choosing which ones to get. The beautiful artwork on each bar wasn’t helping much either! I was so tempted to ask S if we could buy all the chocolate bars, only because I found them all so pretty. After a while, we finally decided on buying just 2 bars: Peru (which we got to try a free sample of) and the Great War bars.
I personally found the Great War bar to be my favorite between the two. I could eat the entire thing in one sitting; I’m just not sure if that would be a good idea. I loved the texture from the oats and the deep, slightly bitter chocolate flavor. S isn’t much of a fan since he doesn’t like any hint of bitterness in his chocolates.
The other stall that I wanted to check out was Easy as Kai. I’ve never tried vegan tacos before, so S and I joined what looked like all the customers of the event in this long queue. I usually don’t have the patience to queue for more than 10 minutes, but I really wanted to try those tacos so we stood there and waited. Sadly, by the time we got to the front of the queue, all except for 1 type of taco was left as everything else has been sold out. It was a bummer, but we knew it was better than not getting to try anything at all.
According to their board, The Unnamed Taco (final name to be released soon) was made of marinated tofu ‘chorizo’, pan fried potatoes with shredded cabbage, pickled red onions and drizzled with vegan taco sauce. Honestly, I didn’t think the tofu tasted like chorizo but they sure looked like crumbled ones. Despite that, S and I enjoyed eating our tacos. Just 1 each was enough for us even if they were small. We needed the space for other stuff anyway. 🙂
By the way, Easy as Kai also serves non-vegan tacos outside The Vegan Vault. They offer delivery services to designated areas within Central Wellington and can be found at the Frank Kitts Underground Market on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.
The House of Dumplings had caught my eye since we first arrived in the city. Their main store is just a few steps away from S’ office and I’ve passed it numerous times. We’ve also seen them put up stalls in different markets we’ve been to. Despite that, we were only able to try their dumplings when we saw them at The Vegan Vault. We were only able to try the Japanese Six-Mushroom variety as all the others were sold out by the time we got to their stall. It was packed full of umami flavor and lovely to eat while still piping hot. S and I are very used to these pungent mushroom flavors but if you’re not, you might find this dumpling type too strong for your liking.
The biggest surprise of all was the cupcakes and savory pies from The Black Sheep Sanctuary Pantry. S and I loved the savory ‘chicken’ pie! I was so pleased to see that S loved eating it even if there was no meat in it. He liked the texture of the faux meat chunks against the luscious creamy sauce and the vegetables inside. I was really happy to know that they’re selling these savory pies at V1 Vegan Store, which is located just along Cuba Street. We can get satisfy our pie craving easier anytime! 🙂
The peanut butter cupcake was also delicious. It’s not as moist compared to the ones I’m used to eating, but the flavors were spot on. It’s not very different from the standard cupcakes we buy in major stores.
S and I are not vegans, but we definitely enjoyed attending The Vegan Vault. It was great because it let us try stuff we normally won’t be able to eat back in Manila. Although I don’t think S and I will be adopting a full vegan lifestyle just yet, I think including more meatless days into our routine still contribute a lot. We heard that there will be more vendors joining the event next month. We’re both looking forward to what other gems we can find. 🙂