We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivia Ferrante & Erica McMahon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olivia & Erica, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
With everything going on around us from the pandemic to politics, we decided that we wanted to add some good to the world.
So we thought, what a perfect time to start a local all vegan meal prep service!
We wanted to create a business that would show people, being vegan isn’t limiting, but that it’s freeing ! We are trying to create an opportunity for folx to see they don’t have to give up their favorite foods, or much at all really, to be vegan. Plus, we wanted to give existing vegans more variety for food in the Denver area !
But most importantly we wanted to make an effort for the environment beyond what we ate. So we came up with a container swap system, to limit our waste and impact on the planet.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
So Make It Vegan is a local, all vegan meal prep service with a request based menu and container swap system to limit waste and impact on the planet. Plus, we are a queer women owned and operated small business.
We make cuisine from all over the world, from my Nonna’s lasagna to empanadas to blintzes to Bierocks, and the list goes on, oh my! So send us your favorite recipe or dish and we’ll make it vegan.
Here’s a little bit on how the meal prep service works:
Every Wednesday we post a new menu built from community requests submitted via social media or our website. We accept pre-orders until we sell out or the following Saturday morning, whichever comes first. Then on that following Sunday, we deliver the food right to your door! And if you’ve ordered before, just leave your containers from last week outside your door and our driver will take care of them for you!
We are very proud of how far our business has come and the amount of growth and support we have seen in such a small period.
It wasn’t always easy, my partner Erica and I were the only ones employed in the business for quite a while. So it was a lot of long hours and sleepless nights but it was worth it all. It taught us a lot about ourselves, each other and what we need and want out of life. And now it’s turned into something amazing that we get to share with people! Which has been an incredible opportunity to get to educate people on veganism, even as far as to help them make the switch from non-vegan to vegan.
There is nothing like when you hand someone a mozzarella stick or some cheesecake and they are expecting it to be terrible, or ya know, all those pre-conceived notions of vegan food not being good. But then their face lights up with this surprise, a huge smile through their chews and the classic line “wow! I can’t even tell it’s vegan! How did you do that?” Getting to show people being vegan only changes your life, and the world around you, for the better, is truly an experience we are grateful for.
So now our next step is to open up our very own location ! Giving people the option to chose our meal prep service or come in to our store front for some delicious, home cooked vegan food.
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.
Oh we would definitely take them to all our favorite karaoke spots. Along with our favorite local queer bars (that also do karaoke ) like Blush n blu, Charlie’s, Trade, Tight end, Whispers on Havana. For food we’d either take them over to Piante’s for the best vegan pizza ! Or over to So Radish for some other yummy vegan eats. Or for appetizers at Spice Room. Then depending on time of year, it would either be off to shred at Copper, Winter Park, etc or off into the woods for a camping trip and hiking adventures to natural hot springs and swimming holes!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shout Out to Alecia and Stephen! Thanks for asking us to meal prep for you, you sparked this whole thing. Shout Out to Christy for donating some funds to us during some hard times. Your help was instrumental in getting us to where we are now. And for giving one of our kittens a safe home.
Shout Out to Mark and Mary for your love, your endless and generous help, and most of all for always empowering and believing in us. We love you both so much
And Shout Out to Sheri ! First ever Make it Vegan T-shirts and stickers came from you along with all your love and support.
Other: Tiktok: makeitvegandenver