This morning when I woke up the air temperature in Ithaca, New York was -20° F. This was the actual temperature, not the wind chill or “feels like.” This was it. The nose-hair-freezing, finger-numbing, water-bottle-in-your-car-exploding, actual temperature. So, I thought it was the perfect time to blog about my upcoming trip to California!
Go west, young vegan.
ExpoWest, held from March 6-8th in Anaheim, California, has called my name. In addition to soaking up some much-needed sun (even if it’s only 50° there … that is still 70° warmer than where I am now), I am honored to be working with the team at Miyoko’s Kitchen on expanding their already very successful vegan cheese company into a broader wholesale market. While most of my time will be spent there, I am also going to finally meet some of my other contacts established over the years since starting this blog.
Specifically (and I hope I am not leaving anyone out), I am thrilled to meet my friends from VioLife who are using ExpoWest as a launching pad to finally bring their amazing products to America (from Greece). Over the past two years I have built such a valuable relationship with this company and am so looking forward to meeting face-to-face. If you’re going to ExpoWest, I highly recommend you to visit their booth and sample their products.
I also can’t wait to meet Justin and Emily from BeyondMeat! I’ve been a Brand Ambassador for over two years (although I think they call them Super Fans now) and I’ve been such a huge (super) fan of all their products. Last year they exhibited with an actual full-scale Taco Bell restaurant as their tradeshow booth so I can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with this year!
Other companies on my “must-see” list are also the companies that have been with me every step of the way toward my transition to veganism:
- Bob’s Red Mill
- Hampton Creek
- Field Roast
- Food for Life
- Chicago Vegan Foods
- DF Mavens
- Eat Pastry
- Emmy’s Organics (from Ithaca)
- Kettle Foods
- Late July Snacks
- Pacific Foods
- Sophies Kitchen
… and … there are no words that can describe the anticipation I am feeling about finally meeting, in person, so many of my fellow vegan bloggers (ironically, some of these first meetings are going to be with east coasters):
- The Vegan Zombies
- The Food Duo
- Cowgirls and Collard Greens
- Michelle Cehn
- Melisser Elliott
- Happy, Healthy Life (.com)
- VegNews Magazine
- Another Hungry Vegan
- The Sexy Vegan
- Eco-Vegan Gal
First timer like me? Then you have to download the “Insider’s Guide to Natural Products Expo” from the wonderful Whitney Lauritsen, aka Eco-Vegan Gal. This is the complete guide to the Expo. Written by a seasoned expert, Whitney has attended for nine years and provides “all you need to know … Expo.” Judging by the size of this event, we can all learn a thing or two (or ten or twenty, if you’re me) from this new e-book.
There are also business meeting, contacts, and connections I will make while there (which is actually the point of the trip). And, of course …
Food. Endless and endless amounts of food to sample. I do think it’s kid of ironic that everyone I know is SO excited to go to a natural products expo … only to load up on junk food.
I don’t think anyone is going to try apples.
Are you going? Comment here or send me an email … would love to meet up with other Expo-pros or newcomers — like me!