Oakland Vegan Restaurateur Goes for the Big Time!

| 03/05/2014 | Reply

Oakland’s Souley Vegan Restaurant Launches Crowd-funding Campaign for Packaged Vegan Soul Food Line

Oakland, California — Souley Vegan, an acclaimed vegan soul food restaurant located in downtown Oakland, has launched a six-week crowd-funding campaign to expand their Souley Vegan Grab and Go packaged food line to sell at markets throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and eventually the world.

The company is working with, a new Oakland-based Internet crowd-funding platform that supports social entrepreneurs. The funding campaign runs through April 2, 2014.


Souley Vegan specialties include BBQ Tofu, Southern Fried Tofu, Okra Gumbo, Mac and Cheese, Potato Salad and Grandpa’s Peanut Butter Pie. “We want to change the common perception that vegan food is bland and boring by creating healthy, fun, delicious vegan food that is so full of flavor and soul, even carnivores love it,” said Souley Vegan Executive Chef and Owner Tamearra Dyson.

Dyson began the company in 2006 by selling her products at local farmers’ markets. When she took the leap of faith to open the restaurant in 2009, she had $27 in the cash register. The money she earned that day was the money she used to shop for ingredients the next morning and so on.

She has never received any loans or grants for the business, yet she’s managed to grow it into a thriving enterprise that has garnered rave reviews, employs 23 Oakland residents and serves some 60,000 customers per year.

Souley Vegan currently supplies four Bay Area markets with Souley Vegan Grab and Go, among them Berkeley Bowl and Rainbow Grocery. That is the extent of their capability given their current production space. “Whole Foods has expressed interest in carrying our line, but we can’t produce on a larger scale without our own production kitchen that is solely dedicated to supplying stores,” said Dyson.

“We believe that making our products more accessible through Souley Vegan Grab and Go will help aid those who are trying to change their diet for the better. By selling our products at markets, we become a part of, if not the reason for, more health-conscious choices people make when shopping.”

“Tamearra and her team at Souley Vegan contribute so much positivity to the Oakland community,” said Higher Circle Founder and CEO William Silva. “I am delighted that she chose Higher Circle as the platform for her crowd-funding campaign. She has a clear vision and she’s ready to take her business to the next level.”

Prior to founding Souley Vegan, Dyson worked as an endoscopy technician at Marin General Hospital for ten years. She saw firsthand what a bad diet does to the body, including colon cancer and diverticulosis.

“I believe in not only a vegan diet, but a balanced one. The ingredients I use are fresh, immune building, blood cleansing ones that promote life. I am passionate about life and I promote life through my food.”

For more information about the crowd-funding campaign for Souley Vegan Grab and Go, please see

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Category: Veganism and African Americans

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