I mentioned in a post recently that I used to work at Vanilla Bean briefly to top up the funds for the move and stuff, so I thought I would write a post about Vanilla Bean, what it is and how it works etc. Put simply, its an app on your phone (although it can be accessed via web browsers at www.vanilla-bean.com ) which tells you the places around you or an inputted postcode/zip code, town etc which has vegan options. And not just chips or salad, but specifically labelled vegan options. It will also tell you if they have organic ingredients, whether the ingredients are locally sourced, if they have raw options, if they have fair-trade and if they are gluten free. Vanilla bean has been going for a while in the UK and Europe, but around summer last year I started working for them as a restaurant data assistant along with a few others (surprisingly I actually knew about 4 of the 7 people already through vegan stuffs, it’s a small world!) to help get the app ready for the US. This meant looking up the lists of restaurants, cafes, etc serving food in certain areas and checking their menus for vegan options primarily (then looking deeper for gluten free, local etc). If they had a vegan option (labelled vegan or caters for vegans) we would add the places details, pictures and write a synopsis on them.
The app is now live in the USA and has been for a couple of months and doing really well. If you are ever unsure of where to go for a bite to eat, or if like me you happen to travel now and then for work, its ideal to have bookmarked or downloaded on your phone to check out what options are available in new areas.
I really do encourage you to download and check it out. It can be really helpful and useful at times and good to keep an eye out on what pops up locally! I know from experience that the guys running Vanilla Bean are doing this to try and help make veganism easier, my boss at Vanilla Bean used to work for PETA so it isn’t just a business or a job, its something that all those involved (who I came across anyway) are passionate about veganism and work hard to put together. Go download, try it out and leave a review!