Viva La Vegan Grocery in Rancho Cucamonga, California, is not your average grocery store. Isaak Iftikhar, co-owner of the store, has stated that the store “shall never sell or profit from any products or services that are not vegan.” The store does not stock any items containing refined white sugar unless the sugar has been certified as vegan, and they also intend to rigorously verify the ingredients used in all of their products to ensure that none of them have been tested on animals.
Don’t live near Cucamonga? Never fear. In an effort to encourage the growth consuming animal-free products beyond the bounds of their store, they have also established an online shopping page, a recipe forum, and an events page. On the 11th, 12th, and 13th of October, they will be holding a series of special launch events to celebrate the opening of their first store in Santa Monica, Viva La Vegan Express.
In an official statement, Iftikhar clearly outlines the company’s vision for both the Cucamonga and the Santa Monica store: “Viva La Vegan Grocery was established for the sole purpose of ending the unnecessary suffering and exploitation, the adversities to our natural environment, and the impact to human health as a result of the consumption of animals. … Our store gives living form to the ethical idea that a grocery store can be free from all animal products. Any economic gain from the revenue/profit is for the primary purpose of advancing Veganism and not for personal concentrated wealth. We support vegan principles as they prevail over self-interest.”
The expansion of “the largest vegan grocery store” on Earth – from one branch to two –should give conscious shoppers many reasons to be hopeful. In recent years, the idea eating consciously is gaining more and more recognition within mainstream society, and us green monsters no longer have to “search in vain” for delicious and ethically produced foods, as Light and Sun once did.
Viva La Vegan!