We had the good fortune of connecting with Malina Farias and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Malina, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
As a dairy-substitute, we, along with other nondairy cheese and milk products, are having a tremendous impact on reducing the environmental impact of the industrialized dairy industry. Here’s a few facts: – The average dairy farm uses 3.4 million gallons of water every day. – The average American diet includes 31 lbs. of dairy cheese per year, which translates to 400 lbs. of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. – Cheese is the single largest source of saturated fat in our diets. Although we don’t focus on these facts, or market the brand as “environmentally friendly”, we are very aware that each time someone picks up a package of our cheese instead of a dairy cheese, it is helping our community a little bit.
What should our readers know about your business?
There are many non-dairy cheese products on the market, so why is Peaceful Rebel different? For starters, our cheeses are soy-based instead of nut-based. For people with nut allergies, it makes cheese possible again. Using tofu and organic soy milk keeps our costs lower than the cashew-based competition, as well. Many of the world’s top vegan cheese brands are highly processed and contain chemicals and artificial ingredients. Our cheese is hand-made and small-batch. But what really sets us apart is the bold flavor. We aren’t shy about using lots of herbs, spices, vinegars and natural flavors to give out cheese “punch”! Our motto is, “No Bland Vegan Cheese!”. For example, Diablo is a black ash cheese with garlic, lots of umame and hot peppers. Peaceful Rebel has grown steadily each year because it’s a good product and people like it. As we continue to expand operations, the vision of our business will remain; that is, producing a quality vegan cheese with ingredients you can read, in small batches and by hand.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Not only is Peaceful Rebel based in Denver, but Colorado is my home “town”. There is so much to see and do here! If my best friend were visiting, I would make sure to go on a hike, and maybe even camp for a night or two. There is nothing like waking up in the wilderness surrounded by trees and mountains. We’d have to hit a hot springs, like Mt Princeton, on the way back, too. Maybe there would be a detour for Great Sand Dunes Park, which are huge sand dunes backed right up to the mountain range. Back in Denver, some dining spots would have to include Watercourse, Hoja, Himchuli Indian Buffet, Pho 78, Yaye Organics and Wong Way food truck. And LOTS of vegan pizza from I Pie, Tony P’s, T Mamas, Esters and Basic Kneads. There is just SO much great vegan food here! I love hanging out in Mezcal for the atmosphere as well as the vegan tacos and awesome margaritas. A trip to Denver must include a walk downtown, where you can discover little jewels like Wild Woman Winery tucked away. After all that food and wine, a trip to Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Preserve is a beautiful place right on the outskirts of the city, where you can walk around lakes and view, deer, buffalo and eagles.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Peaceful Rebel had a humble beginning. In fact, our first (and only) customer was Nooch Vegan Market. They took a chance on us because they liked the product and they remain one of our largest customers today. So, a heartfelt Thank You to this incredible little store in Denver! The second big shoutout goes to the Colorado vegan community itself. They embraced us and we love them to bits! I try to get to know as many customers as I can because it’s important to me that they know I care and am grateful for their support. I can honestly say I have never met a community of nicer people.
Pizza image courtesy of Lorna Rosenblum