Berlin’s vegan-only supermarket chain is coming to Portland, Oregon. Veganz, which has already spread out across Europe, is a kind of mini Whole Foods-style supermarket, and it only sells vegan food. The stores also have a coffee-shop section, with salads, cakes, smoothies, and the like, and they carry cosmetics and candy.
Founded in 2011, Veganz spread quickly across Berlin and beyond. Vegan is big in Germany, with a lot of people eating it for health reasons, as well as ethical ones. Founder Jan Bredack told Eco Watch that "80% of his customers are neither vegan nor vegetarian."
If you want to eat healthily, though, you’re options are more limited. Veganz caters to buyers of prepared food, with lots of fake steaks, sausages, falafel mixes, and other junk-style options. You can find rye grains or other basic ingredients on the shelves, but the emphasis is on pre-made, processed foods. That makes sense—after all, it’s easy to shop for vegan food in a regular supermarket if you’re buying raw materials, and for more esoteric ingredients like buckwheat flour or puffed quinoa, Germany is already stuffed full of "bio" stores, which only sell organically produced goods.
Veganz also imports from 30 countries instead of focusing on locally grown products. That makes it easier to expand the chain, though.
The store will open in Portland later this year, and will be joined by a vegan clothing store, and a restaurant. This, too, mirrors Veganz’s Berlin model, where the supermarkets often share building space with restaurants, clothing, and shoe stores. Happy animal-free shopping, everyone.