When Pamela Elizabeth opened the doors of Blossom Du Jour in 2010, she did so with the clear mission to provide New York City consumers with food that was fun, healthy and held no negative consequences to the animals we share our world with. While many of the items featured on Blossom Du Jour’s menu are familiar lunch staples, including burgers, wraps, and salads, Elizabeth’s choice to only feature exclusively vegan “fast-food” that caused minimal harm to animals and the environment was notably unique.
“When I was 17 years old I got a pamphlet in the mail that changed the course of my life. The pamphlet was from a place called The Fund for Animals, which decried the animal practices surrounding factory farming — which was something I had never thought about. I immediately went vegetarian that day. A few years later, I went vegan,” Elizabeth told One Green Planet, “I honestly don’t know how I got into the food industry, I guess it was destined to happen. My goals were to sing opera and act. But I became a vegan for moral reasons, and I wanted to somehow encourage people to think about what they were eating, and the general lifestyle choices they were making.”
Clearly, Elizabeth was on to a burgeoning trend amongst diners who were looking for fast, casual dining options and also want to eat less meat and dairy. The results are a wildly successful chain that has now expanded to five different locations across the city – although we can’t imagine it will be long before they can be found across the U.S.
Although their Beet Burger with horseradish v-mayo is enough to make people feel awesome about their daily food choices, Blossom Du Jour is kicking it up a notch with their new charity initiative.
“In an effort to raise awareness and to connect people with organizations doing amazing things for animals we created this active menu where different organizations are tied to specific food items so every time someone buys one of our 100 percent vegan products they become active participants in this fight to save animals,” explains Elizabeth.
The launch of the new menu coincided with the grand opening of the new Union Square location. Ten percent of the sales across Blossom Du Jour locations will be donated to the organizations featured on their menu. “I’ve known about and/or have personally donated funds to a number of the organizations for several years now,” Elizabeth explains about her choice to feature the organizations on the menu, “They all do incredible work on a daily basis for animals! We plan to work with the current organizations for at least a year if not longer, but we, of course, hope to work with others in the future!”
The organizations featured include Beagle Freedom Project, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary, City Critters, Pigs Peace Sanctuary, Humane Society of Cozumel, Equine Advocates, Donkey Rescue, and Kindness Ranch.
Elizabeth continues,”We are doing this in a very specific way so that people can see where the money is going. We really hope to amp up the amount of information through images and/or social media postings that we can do with each organization that way people can see and truly know 100 percent that their money is going somewhere that it is meant to go and where we promised that it’s going to go.”
Because of the wide array of options available at Blossom Du Jour, it attracts a customer base that might not necessarily identify as vegan or know much about animal welfare issues. By adding this charity element to their menu, Blossom Du Jour is helping to raise awareness for everything from farm animal issues to animal testing and pet homelessness, all while providing delicious meals that will certainly have diners coming back for more.
“Our regular customers and newbies alike enjoy our vegan comfort food and overall message,” explains Elizabeth, “Vegan food can be fun, approachable, and delicious! That’s what Du Jour is all about. But we’re not just food – “Not Just Food… A Movement” is one of our taglines that we proudly stand behind. Our Active Menu is part of this movement.”
To find a Blossom Du Jour location near you, check out their website, here. For scrumptious food pictures and news about the restaurant, follow them on Facebook. If you don’t live near a Blossom Du Jour, don’t panic, you can get a taste of their awesomeness with these recipes.