While only three percent of Americans call themselves vegans, their presence seems to be proliferating everywhere. For consumers who are curious about vegan food, or vegans looking for a variety of local vegan products, this weekend’s Neat Market offers a plethora of samples to try and products to buy if the samples prove worthy. Many local vegan merchants peddled their wares at Veg Fest 2013, and the recurring Neat Market provides a bonus to any “Vedge Curious” shopper who missed out.
Neat Market occurs in Downtown Denver on the third Sunday of every month. This Sunday (September 15) marks this month’s market date. Neat Market is a sidewalk sale of sorts, with the atmosphere of a farmer’s market but with much more than produce and non-food items as well. Of course, since all the products are vegan, they indeed come from plants even if they look nothing like what one would pick from a field.
At least 16 vendors are scheduled to be present at this month’s market. Most of the businesses represented are local, small and privately-owned. Many such businesses are taking advantage of opportunities like Neat Market to promote their products in the growing market. Not only are more people going vegan or vegetarian, but even many non-vegans seek vegan products because they tend to totally natural and made in a sustainable manner. Other plant-based product that may be for sale at Neat Market include make-up, lotions and soap, and the number of participating merchants is expected to grow.
Neat Market gets strong support from Denver’s Nooch Vegan Grocery. The small store, located on xx street in Denver, is a purveyor of vegan goods from prepared breakfast burritos to belts made from animal-free products. Their product line also includes a full array of vegan groceries.
Neat Market was created in 2012 by local vegan advocacy group Plants and Animals Denver. The group itself was founded in 2010. Its founders keep a low profile on the web, but host many local social events including monthly “Chomp” gatherings. Chomps are local, vegan dinner events with a culinary theme, from breakfast for dinner to ethnic specialties from Estonian to Vietnamese. Chomps are open to the public and take place monthly ad various places around metro Denver. Patrons need only bring a donation (five to eight dollars is the standard) and their own silverware and plate to join in the meal and mingle with others who are eating vegan.