Earlier this month, MooShoes, the popular vegan shoe store located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, cleared their shelves and closed down for renovation. The shoe retailer didn’t temporarily close up shop to redesign the store or expand the showroom, though. Instead, co-owners Erica and Sara Kubersky will be dipping their toes in another sector of the expanding vegan market: food. When the location re-opens it will be split into two sections, MooShoes and Orchard Grocer, a shop that will feature an all-vegan deli, dry goods, and even soft-serve ice cream.

We know what you’re thinking, shoes and food? Admittedly, we too thought the combo was a bit weird at first. But upon further reflection, the move kind of makes total sense. Think about it. Consumers who are visiting Mooshoes to buy cruelty-free bags, shoes, and other accessories, are just the type of folks who would appreciate, say, a cup of vegan soft serve. And where better to satisfy the craving for a vegan treat, than next door, at a vegan grocery shop connected to the very same shoe store you were shopping in? Pretty ingenious.

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MooShoes Co-Owner Erica Kubersky told Bowery Boogie that MooShoes should be open by the beginning of September, with the grocer following a month later.

Erica and Sara’s decision to expand MooShoes to include Orchard Grocer is revealing of a larger idea that as different as they may be, food and fashion is very much interconnected. After all, the leather industry is deeply intertwined with the meat industry.  Despite the fact that the leather industry would like consumers to believe that leather is simply a by-product of the meat industry, these two industries are tightly linked economically. Leather is not produced to minimize waste on factory farms, it’s used to maximize revenue and profit, thereby perpetuating the industry rather than “lessening its impact” by making it waste-free.

Through the opening of Orchard Grocer, Erica and Sara are helping consumers see the connection between these two industries (and providing some yummy vegan noms while they’re at it). Cruelty-free and environmentally-friendly shoes and food? We’re all about it.

Image source: Mooshoes/Facebook