Last year, over 350 jobs were lost when PepsiCo shut down the Walkers Snacks factory in Peterlee, UK. Now, vegan businesswoman and entrepreneur Heather Mills has purchased the production facility, hoping to transform the area into what she describes as a “Silicon Valley” of plant-based foods.

Mills plans to use the facility as the third, and largest, VBites manufacturing plant. Once up and running, the factory will mostly likely be the largest all-vegan production facility in the nation. The move is expected to return many of the lost manufacturing jobs to the area, an issue that drove some British voters to reject the European Union during the ‘Brexit’ referendum in 2016.  While Mills is on record saying she ‘hates’ Brexit, she announced that she wanted to do “something positive” in the midst of the “Brexit situation.”

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Although Mills’ plan of bringing jobs back to the region is certain to provide economic relief, she  has big plans for the new Vbites factory. “I want this to become the vegan food equivalent of technology’s Silicon Valley in California. A plant-based valley, that will bring more business into the North East.” Said Mills, when asked about her purchase.

Only time will tell if Mill’s investment was a good one, but not too much time. She receives the keys to the factory on Friday.

Make Your Own Vegan Snacks 

Of course, you don’t need to buy Vbites to have a tasty vegan snacks! Check out these bite-sized goodies, courtesy of the Food Monster App.

Oil-Free Olive Crackers 

Source: Oil-Free Olive Crackers

Melanie Jacobs’ Oil-Free Olive Crackers made from chickpea flour will definitely hit the spot. Turn on the oven and get out that rolling pan ’cause we’ll be making crackers!

Roasted Spicy Chickpeas

Source: Roasted Spicy Chickpeas

Mireille Aikman‘s Roasted Spicy Chickpeas are one great snack. You only need to know the right balance of flavors and you will make this every time you like to eat a snack.

Panko-Crusted Zucchini Chips

panko crusted zucchini chips

Source: Panko-Crusted Zucchini Chips

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Sofia Von Porat‘s Panko-Crusted Zucchini Chips are the perfect movie night snack! They’re light and crunchy and should you want a little extra flavor, you can even add your favorite herbs and spices to the mix. Serve with your favorite chip dip, or enjoy them as is. You might want to double the recipe, though — these will disappear fast.

If you enjoyed this article, check out 25 Awesome Vegan Snacks for Any Party! Also, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App. For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Android and iPhone. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and more find awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.

Lead Image: Shutterstock

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