12 People Who Are Helping Shape Philly’s Awesome Vegan Scene
Meet the vegan vanguard.
Get to know the vanguard that helped establish our thriving vegan scene — and the folks who are making it next-level.
The Influencer: Caroline Ginolfi
A plant-based nutritionist who has worked with more than 300 clients, she’s also the brains behind @plantbasedblonde, an Instagram handle with nearly 60,000 followers that’s filled with delicious recipes.
The Restaurateur: Nicole Marquis
She took a chance on vegan fast food in 2012. Now her HipCityVeg chain has eight locations in two cities. She also owns Charlie Was A Sinner in Midtown Village and Rittenhouse’s Bar Bombón.
The Cheerleaders: Vincent Sulak and Erin Jaskiewicz
These Instagrammers populate their channel, @phillyvegans, with photos of all the amazing vegan eats they can find in Philly. They have 16,000-plus followers.
The Facilitator: Raquel Evita Saraswati
With her organic and vegan meal-prep service, Vegan Rahma, Saraswati makes living a vegan lifestyle easy and tasty. She’s also a nutrition consultant and an around-town vegan advocate.
The Pioneers: Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
The husband-and- wife team showed the world that vegan food can be upscale, accessible and delicious with Vedge and V Street. They’re both James Beard-nominated chefs.
The Entrepreneur: Leroy Mapp
Alongside fellow Temple alum Rian Watkins, Mapp co-founded Gorilla Power, a West Philly plant-based energy-bar company. The mission: to make an on-the-go vegan lifestyle doable and accessible.
The Corner-Store Visionaries: Carmella Lanni and Carlo Giardina
This pair — who also conceived the annual Philly Vegan Pop Flea — launched V Marks the Shop, an all-vegan convenience store that opened earlier this year in South Philly.
The Community Builder: Sabrina Freeman
She started the Facebook groups Philly Black Vegans (543 members) and Black Vegan Women’s Guide (5,200 members); both provide networking, tips, and local event information to members.
The Organizer: Nicole Koedyker
She founded Philly Vegan Restaurant Week, which runs every fall and spring and gets bigger with every iteration. She’s also a member of the Philly Vegan Lady Gang, a group that spreads the good vegan word.
Published as “Philly’s Green Thumbs” in the December 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.