Buddha-Full Fresh Juice & Smoothies represents an ethical, 100% animal friendly, community-based environment. Geremie Voigt and Kyla Rawlyns opened the café in North Vancouver five years ago. Buddha-Full proudly serves organic fresh juices & smoothies, raw organic cuisine, organic gluten-free baked goods, a full local retail section, and locally roasted coffee from Moja.
VHS supports the growth of cruelty-free businesses and we were interested to find out more about Buddha-Full. Here’s our Q&A with Geremie and Kyla.
VHS: What inspired you to open Buddha-Full Fresh Juice & Smoothies?
G&K: We both have been vegan for many years and have always been inspired by educating our community, family and friends on veganism and a conscious living dynamic.
VHS: How have you found the reaction from the community?
G&K: Our community tells us Buddha-Full is a staple in the lower Lonsdale area. People tell us every day it is like going to their church!
VHS: What do you enjoy most about running Buddha-Full?
G&K: Standing by our initial mission of educating our community and holding a space where people can come and feel welcome. It’s important to us that our customers feel comfortable and know they are taken care of.
VHS: What do you find is the hardest part?
G&K: Challenges will always come up. The hardest part is having some customers coming in and asking for dairy products or meat products and educating them on why we choose to maintain our animal friendly selection.
VHS: How do you stay positive in a world where animal-based products are still so predominant?
G&K: Considering that veganism has doubled since 2009 in the U.S., we know things are changing and we are making a difference in the world. We are proud to be standing by our ethics.
VHS: What is your most popular menu item?
G&K: The Lobo Smoothie (hemp protein, dates, peanut butter, banana and almond milk), it’s a Buddha-Full staple. Also, the Pesto Vegan Sausage wrap is one of our absolute favourite items and we make it all in house!
VHS: Who are your customers? Is there a predominant demographic?
G&K: Upwards of 60% of our customers are female. The majority of our customers are not vegan, however they are interested and curious about veganism and feel welcomed in our space!
VHS: What do you think is the best way to encourage consumers to make more ethical choices?
G&K: Leading by example is a great way to encourage ethical choices by others. Be the change you want to see in the world!
VHS: Do you think veganism is becoming more mainstream?
G&K: We think the world is becoming increasingly educated about and involved with animal liberation. Everyone we meet seems to have one at least one person in their family who is vegetarian, if not vegan. Half of Kyla’s family is now vegetarian – Now that’s progress!
VHS: What are some of the lessons you’ve learned about running a vegan business?
G&K: Having a space where everyone feels welcome is crucial. People want some sort of familiarity and seem to frequent spaces that provide that on a consistent basis.
Buddha-Full is located at 106 West 1st Street – Suite 101, North Vancouver.
Tel: (604) 973-0231