Thursday, April 3, 2014

Note to business owners who want vegan business

Mike and I are vegan.

We share our house with four dogs and two chinchillas. As expensive it is that they can seem at times, I'm sure it's nothing compared to having human children.

We don't have a lot of extra money as I work in the non-profit world and Mike teaches in our local public school system. Don't get me wrong, we live very well. We both feel like we live a charmed life.

So when we shop, we like to spend money with nice people. When we dine out, we want amazingly delicious food and incredibly hospitable service.

This can be challenging with some folks. Recently we have had poor experiences when trying to support vegan businesses and businesses that are trying to get vegans to spend their money with them.

Some experiences were around things like this:

Do you really think that you have to act like you are cooler than us? I get it, you are cooler than us. So relax.

If you have promoted a product as vegan, it should be vegan. Don't get pissy with us when it's not. It's not our fault. Vegan means no animal product. None. And no insect product. Zero. If your product contains just a little animal product it's still not vegan.

I'm vegan. I'm against cruelty to animals. I'm shopping with you. I don't want your opinion as why it's OK to use animals for this purpose or another. I definitely don't need you to tell me that they don't really hurt the animals in whatever process you are talking about.

If you own or run a restaurant and want vegans to dine with you, then create delicious vegan food. Make your vegan dishes so incredibly creative and tasty that your restaurant will be the talk of the town. A simple salad or pasta dish just doesn't do it.

If you are vegan and have created the most amazing vegan product, food item or business, we are super excited for you. We will probably end up loving your product or business just as much as you do. So please treat us kindly. Arrogance and ego don't really work for us. Kudos on the wonderful creation. We'll support it. Just remember that we're customers and will be part of your success.

We LOVE vegan businesses. We love them even better when the folks we engage with speak with us rather than at us and if they treat us as if our business and support might matter to them. A vegan business that we love and one that ROCKS at this is Vegan Cuts. I met the owners (I think they were the owners!) at a bloggers conference. They we so incredibly nice to me, just one of hundreds swinging by their booth. They made it so I wanted to do business with them. And we sure have! Their initial way of treating me created a long term customer and a huge fan.

This all boils down to the big rule for us: treat others as you wish to be treated. It's pretty simple. And easy. Personally I believe that it's so much easier to be kind to someone than unkind, especially to a customer!

If you are in business I assume you want to do well. Please keep some of this in mind. The way you treat people really makes a difference. I don't mean to come off negative with this post, I truly want businesses to take note and think about some of these issues. It's not just Mike and I who have experienced this, but much of what I am writing about are issues that many of our friends and blog readers have experienced.

We look forward to buying your product, dining at your restaurant and enjoying your newest vegan creation!

Thanks for reading!