Here’s what to expect at the first Friendly Vegan Fest this weekend

Friendly Vegan Foundation is hosting the first Friendly Vegan Fest this weekend to bring the Baton Rouge community together in a healthy, plant-based way.

After Hurricane Ida devastated Southern Louisiana in 2021, Friendly Vegan Foundation launched and provided over 100 meals to families in need, in efforts to help heal and nourish the community. Since then, the Foundation has made it their mission to heal communities “through wellness and education, and to provide plant-based food options,” says Taylor Harris, the director of Friendly Vegan Foundation. 

“There are a lot of food deserts around here and obesity, and other things that we want to remedy,” Harris says. “It’s 2022. I feel like we have so many resources to learn about health.”

The Friendly Vegan Foundation is launching new community events to carry out their mission across Baton Rouge. In March, the foundation hosted the Capital’s first all-vegan market, Plant Based Pop-Up. This weekend, the foundation will be showcasing over 30 local and out-of-state plant-based vendors at the Friendly Vegan Fest. Plant Based Sweets by Lotus, Essentially Yours Candles and Herbal Unlimited Essentials are just a few of the vendors that will be at the festival. Products like vegan foods, CBD, crystals, and jewelry will be sold by various vendors.

Entertainment will include inflatable games and face-painting for children, as well as live music.

The Friendly Vegan Foundation’s goal for the festival is to provide health education to Baton Rouge and prove that veganism is more than just “a niche market,” says Harris. 

“It’s about letting people know that it is accessible and there are plant-based businesses here that just need more exposure,” Harris says. “That’s why we’re providing a space for them to showcase their products.”

On a daily basis, the foundation’s restaurant Vegan Friendly Foods off College Drive on Bennington Avenue hands out free meals. In regards to their future endeavors, the foundation has discussed growing and bringing the festival to Downtown.

The foundation has also considered hosting a monthly market, inspired by the model of MidCity Makers Market. But, before moving on to future endeavors, the Friendly Vegan Foundation is treating the festival as their second test run. 

The Friendly Vegan Festival is this Sunday, May 8, from 12-4 p.m., at the Vegan Friendly Foods restaurant at 4608 Bennington Ave. General admission is free. To learn more about the foundation and festival, visit friendlyveganfoundation.org/.