Do you know Montreal’s only vegan grocery store?

Herbivores Marché Végétalien

The devious duo that started it all, Lex & Izzy, are mercurial to say the least – their facebook page is their playground. Kung fu battles, mock protests, and juicy rumours about closures abound. Feeling lonely? Herbivores even host vegan speed dating.

Fun aside, their central mission resonates with ours:

Our primary mission at Herbivores Marché Végétalien isn’t to profit from a “Plant based food trend.” It is to make the world vegan.
    – Alex Papadakos (Herbivores Co-founder
        and President a.k.a Lex Dakos)

Open noon to 9pm every day: you will find our treats there. You will also find an abundance of vegan products on their shelves, and a great kitchen serving up amazing poutine, brunch, and the best vegan souvlaki you’ll ever eat. Yum!

Why can’t we call vegan cheese vegan cheese?

The wonderful vegan Blue Heron Creamery in Vancouver was recently told to stop using the word cheese, and this was covered in the media: Global report with video, daily hive, The Georgia Straight.

We were recently approached by the powers that be and asked to rename our cheesecake to cashew cake – antiquated dominance of our food regulators by the meat & dairy industry has left these dinosaur rules in place.

Anna Pipus wrote a rebuttal on ipolitics.ca that we include in our sidebar.


The following is an opinion piece from ipolotics.ca

CFIA regulations on classifying milk products ‘badly out of date’ by Anna Pippus. Published on Feb 20, 2019 9:13pm

This week, Vancouver-based vegan cheesemaker Karen McAthy of Blue Heron Creamery made the news when she was told by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to stop using the word “cheese” to describe her plant-based cheeses, cultured in the traditional cheesemaking fashion from ingredients like almonds, coconuts, and cashews.

Canadian regulations define milk as being lacteal secretions from animals’ mammary glands, while cheese, cream, sour cream, butter, and ice cream, are defined as being made from this milk.

The regulations were drafted four decades ago, before the explosion of the plant-based food sector, and even before Canadians were thoughtful enough to consider the dietary patterns of those from other cultures in our food policy. Soy milk, for example, has been popular for nearly 700 hundreds years throughout Asia, where most adult humans are lactose intolerant.

Canadian consumers may think we’re buying soy milk, but look closer: it’s typically labelled soy beverage. This may not be an overly confusing label for plant-based milks, which come in similar packaging and are in the same supermarket fridge as cow milk.

But when it comes to cheeses and other dairy products, which cover a wide variety of products in a wide variety of packaging, it’s not so easy to discern what a product is without the terms that are familiar to us. For example, is “cultured cashew spread” meant to be used like cream cheese, sour cream, butter, or something else?

The stated purpose of Canada’s food labelling rules is to prevent consumers from being deceived or misled. But plant-based dairy companies are not trying to mislead consumers. On the contrary: these days, the dairy-free nature of products is a marketing advantage, and the primary reason for many companies’ and products’ existence. They’re deliberately making it clear that their dairy-free products do not contain lacteal secretions from animals’ mammary glands.

In the United States, regulations permit food companies to use regulated terms — like cheese and milk— with qualifiers, such as “dairy-free,” “plant-based,” “cashew,” or “soy.” Far from being confusing, these labels offer details to consumers in language they are already using. The American regulatory regime recognizes that the name of a food can be established by common usage —in other words, if we’re all calling it soy milk, it should be labelled soy milk.

In Canada, too, we are colloquially referring to non-dairy milks, cheeses, and so forth in everyday language, the media, and even supermarket advertising. Labels should reflect our language. And indeed, given that the purpose of the regulations is purportedly to avoid confusion, labels must reflect our language, lest they be misleading. This puts food producers in a tough spot: both labelling a product what consumers call it and using a euphemism could potentially violate the regulations.

“Milk” and derivative terms are not the intellectual property of the dairy industry, and Canadian regulators should not be effectively enforcing a non-existent trademark for them. The role of our food labelling regulator is to ensure that companies can clearly communicate with consumers through labels—not to further the private commercial interests of one sector over another.

Ultimately, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s regulations may not even be constitutional. Canadians enjoy a right to free expression, barring a pressing and substantial government objective. In other words, if we want to culture cashew milk instead of cow milk and sell it as cashew cheese, the government has to have a really good reason not to let us.

Consumers are increasingly switching to dairy-free products out of concerns for the animals, the environment, or our own health — or simply because of taste preference. This is not a fad, but a new normal. Regulations that can only conceive of milk as being the lacteal secretions from animals’ mammary glands are badly out of date, creating unnecessary barriers for entrepreneurs and consumers in the 21st century.

Until then, enjoy your jars of peanut butter and cans of coconut milk while you can — according to Canadian food labelling regulations, those labels may actually be illegal.

Anna Pippus is a lawyer, writer and director of the Plant-based Policy Centre.

The three valentines

It’s the 14th and we are ready for you with chocolates, cakes, and lots of treats. But to who do we owe the name Valentine?

From Wikipedia

In the early martyrologies, three different St. Valentines are mentioned, all sharing Feb. 14 for a feast day. Unfortunately, the historical record is sparse. The first St. Valentine was a priest and physician in Rome. He along with St. Marius and his family comforted the martyrs during the persecution of Emperor Claudius II, the Goth. Eventually, St. Valentine was also arrested, condemned to death for his faith, beaten with clubs, and finally beheaded on Feb. 14, AD 270. He was buried on the Flaminian Way. Later, Pope Julius I (333-356) built a basilica at the site which preserved St. Valentine’s tomb. Archeological digs in the 1500s and 1800s have found evidence of the tomb of St. Valentine. However, in the thirteenth century, his relics were transferred to the Church of Saint Praxedes near the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where they remain today. Also, a small church was built near the Flaminian Gate of Rome which is now known as the Porta del Popolo but was called in the 12th century “the Gate of St. Valentine,” as noted by the early British historian William Somerset (also known as William of Malmesbury, d. 1143), who ranks after St. Bede in authority.

The second St. Valentine was the Bishop of Interamna (now Terni, located about 60 miles from Rome). Under the orders of Prefect Placidus, he too was arrested, scourged, and decapitated, again suffering persecution during the time of Emperor Claudius II.

The third St. Valentine suffered martyrdom in Africa with several companions. However, nothing further is known about this saint. In all, these men, each named St. Valentine, showed heroic love for the Lord and His Church.

The popular customs of showing love and affection on St. Valentine’s Day is almost a coincidence with the feast day of the saint: During the Medieval Age, a common belief in England and France was that birds began to pair on Feb.14, “half-way through the second month of the year.” Chaucer wrote in his “Parliament of Foules” (in Old English): “For this was on Seynt Valentyne’s day, When every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.” For this reason, the day was dedicated to “lovers” and prompted the sending of letters, gifts, or other signs of affection.

Another literary example of St. Valentine’s Day remembrances is found in Dame Elizabeth Brews “Paston Letters” (1477), where she writes to the suitor, John Paston, of her daughter, Margery: “And, cousin mine, upon Monday is St. Valentine’s day and every bird chooseth himself a mate, and if it like you to come on Thursday night, and make provision that you may abide till then, I trust to God that ye shall speak to my husband and I shall pray that we may bring the matter to a conclusion.” In turn, Margery wrote to John: “Unto my right well beloved Valentine John Paston, Squyer, be this bill delivered. Right reverend and worshipful and my right well beloved Valentine, I recommend me unto you, full heartily desiring to hear of your welfare, which I beseech Almighty God long for to preserve until His pleasure and your heart’s desire.” While speaking of the amorous flavor of Valentine’s Day, no mention is made of the saint.

Snow day? No way! We are open, with two-for-ones!

SNOW DAY BOGO. We have buy-one-get-one on all the following products:
Spinach “feta” puff pastries🥐
Apple turnovers🍅
Cranberry orange pecan scones🍊
Muffins 🥮

Our student cafe partners are all closed, we are overstocked!

In boutique only, you can do it. Honestly, there isn’t that much snow. 🙈🙉🙊

shhhh, we have vegan pizza.

The official announcement will come soon, but we have quietly introduced vegan pizza at our boutique. With a delicious think crust, and delicious fresh ingredients. We soft-launched the pizza earlier in the week, and we are really happy with the results.

Our team has been experimenting with the toppings, and three sets have emerged: tomato basil pizza, almond cream “feta” pizza, and a margarita pizza with cashew “cheese.” Available when we open every morning at 11h in our boutique. We should be announcing via our social networks soon, but you heard it here first!

🍕🍕🍕

BOGO Mondays keep going; and here comes Valentine’s!

Hello friends!

Just a reminder that BOGO Mondays will continue in 2019. Every Monday, in our boutique, we offer a Buy-One-Get-One free item – so why don’t y’all come on down and start your week off right!

And YAS, we are halfway through winter (at least that’s what we are telling ourselves) and with february comes our valentine’s menu. Here’s a little sneak peak at what we will have in store:

  • raspberry caramel truffle
  • bourbon ganache truffle with cracked cayenne pepper
  • chocolate bark
  • the heart breaker box, a handcrafted box of 3 chocolates. just break and eat!
  • 5″ bff cake (4 portions) chocolate raspberry cake
  • 5″ bff cake (4 portions) chocolate raspberry cake – gluten sensitive
  • 5″ bff cake (4 portions) pistachio and rose cake
  • chocolate raspberry cupcake
  • chocolate raspberry cupcake – gluten sensitive
  • pistachio and rose cupcake

 

See you soon!

Happy 2019! A look back on our 2018.

Our team wishes to thank all our customers and suppliers for making 2018 our best year yet.

We faced a lot of challenges. We migrated to a new software system in April – a painful months-long process. Staff turnover led to the loss of some really great people (to graduation, moving cities, and to new professions). We’ve dealt with broken equipment, an uncooperative delivery vehicle, and outages of every flavour (phone, internet, power, and water).

We met 2018’s bumps with so many successes. For instance, our new software allowed us to streamline our orders with production team. Speaking of our team, we added some fantastic people – this while improving our training methods, eg introducing an internal wiki. We even launched paperless invoicing! We optimized our wholesale business with reusable boxes while working with our fantastic partners. We improved our website, adding all our products with photos with ingredients, and we got online ordering up in time for the holiday season.

And to cap the year, the yuletide season is always our most hectic time. Still groggy from our holiday hangover, we’re licking our wounds and emerging stronger than ever! We can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for us; moreso, we can’t wait to see you walking through our door.

We sincerely believe plant based food is the future, and that in our own way we are changing the world one cupcake at a time (and luckily so are you, by eating them). 🙂

Holiday treats, store hours, and YES there is still time to order!

The Sophie Sucrée elves have been hard at work making festive treats. Our holiday menu is available, ginberbread buddies and chocolates oh my! All our menus now include pictures of every item (it’s about time). 🙂

Want a no hassle pickup experience? You can place your order with our brand new order form, and we will have everything ready for you when you arrive at our boutique. Want to pickup quickly? Place an order then call us, or just drop in chez nous.

Holiday store hours:
fri dec 21 11am to 9pm
sat dec 22 11am to 8pm
sun dec 23 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
mon dec 24 11am to 3pm
tue dec 25 closed
wed dec 26 closed
thu dec 27 11am to 6pm
fri dec 28 11am to 9pm
sat dec 29 11am to 8pm
sun dec 30 11am to 6pm
mon dec 31 11am to 4pm
tue jan 1 closed
wed jan 2 closed
thu 11am to 6pm
fri 11am to 9pm
sat 11am to 8pm
sun 11am to 6pm
Sophie Sucree Montreal Vegan Tacos

3 important reasons to try veganism in 2017

Happy New Year to all of our beloved clients, friends and family! What are some of your New Years Resolutions for 2017?
The 21 Day Vegan Challenge starts tomorrow and here are 3 important reasons why we think going vegan should be your 2017 resolution…

1. For the animals

Sophie Sucree Montreal Farm Animals - Go Vegan

According to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, every year, more than 650 million animals are slaughtered for food in Canada. While most Canadians assume the government ensures the humane treatment of farm animals, the unfortunate reality leaves us shocked to discover the lack of monitoring of farms across the country. Farming practices in Canada have changed dramatically over the last 50 to 60 years and Canada currently has no regulations stipulating how animals should be treated on farms other than federal and provincial animal cruelty laws. This often results in the mistreatment of farm animals and we also see cases of rare and egregious abuse, such as when animals are neglected to the point of starvation and medical neglect. By going vegan, you could spare the lives of over 100 farm animals per year!!! We think that alone is reason enough to go vegan, but here are a couple other important points to consider…

Sophie Sucree Montreal Going Vegan 2017

2. For the environment

According to Greenpeace, raising animals for food generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks, planes and trains in the world combined! Factory farms all over the world cram hundreds of animals into large areas of soiled pasture that emit not only carbon dioxide, but also more potent gases of methane and nitrous oxide, all of which has a direct impact on global warming. In addition, 75% of agriculture land is devoted to raising animals and cattle enterprises are responsible for up to 80% of Amazon deforestation. Once we add more plants and alternative proteins to our diets, we may begin to heal the planet, and in turn heal ourselves! Which brings us to the last point…

Sophie Sucree Montreal Vegan Healthy New Years Resolution 2017

3. For your health

According to a recent study conducted by the Oxford University, by 2050, widespread adoption of plant-based diets would avert 8.1 million premature human deaths every year. This was found to be the case due to the reduction of red and processed meat, which the World Health Organization classified as carcinogenic due to its risk of colorectal cancer. In addition, a well-balanced plant-based diet is rich in protein, iron, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals. Unlike the average Western diet, a well-planned vegan diet tends to be low in saturated fat, high in fibre and packed with antioxidants, helping mitigate some of the modern world’s biggest health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Some vegans also experience increased energy, clearer skin, stronger hair and nails, and reduced allergy symptoms. By removing animal products from your plate, you leave room for a wider variety of fresh vegetables and other savoury ingredients.

Sophie Sucree Montreal Vegan Healthy New Years Resolution
Photo taken from the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University

 

Have we said enough to convince you? With so many delicious vegan food options scattered around our beautiful city of Montreal, and so many amazing vegan blogs out there with delectable recipes to try, there’s no reason not to try out veganism. If you’re in need of some extra support, sign yourself up for the 21 Day Vegan Challenge starting tomorrow and let your friends and family take part in it too.

For the animals, for the planet, for your health, make veganism your New Years Resolution in 2017!