Throughout the summer, there’s no shortage of opportunities to visit pop-ups selling sustainable housewares and locally made fashion.
Lucky for Exchange District residents, employees and visitors, there’s a spot to sustain this style of shopping year-round.
In 2012, Sherry Sobey opened the first iteration of Generation Green as a kiosk in The Forks Market. Fast-forward to the fall of 2017, and the Exchange welcomed the eco-conscious business to a brand-new storefront at 100-433 Main Street.
Of the move, Sobey says, “It gave us the opportunity to expand and add a café in.
“It’s an all-vegan café, which we thought was something kind of unique for this neighbourhood – and it’s been really a lot of fun being here.”
The vegan Acorn Café offers daily hearty soups, nutrient-rich smoothies (with optional boosters), and lattés with every milk substitute, including soy, oat, and macadamia nut.
The café specializes in quick-service eats on the go, like their very popular vegan cream cheese bagels (made in-house by their own cheesemaker, Vegan Fromagerie), homemade soups, grilled cheese, hummus wraps and nourishment bowls.
“I really wanted the opportunity to grow my business, and the addition of an in-store café was the missing piece of the puzzle,” Sobey says.
“I’d been focused on what we were putting on our bodies, and around our bodies, and now I wanted to kind of talk a little bit about what we were putting in our bodies, too. It kind of completed the package.”
Sobey knew her clientele would welcome the news of the foray into prepared foods as well.
For years, her client base has been primarily vegan. And the ethics of vegan meal preparation align with her business, which focuses on lessening waste in her own business and in her customers’ households, and also on keeping a low environmental footprint, including sourcing all products made in Canada.
As with many of its bulk household products – such as shampoo, soap, and dry foods available for refill – Acorn Café has made its most popular item, vegan cheese, available in bulk orders.
“Bringing in our own vegan cheese maker has been just the highlight of it all,” says Sobey, adding it gave Vegan Fromagerie the chance to build their brand while offering something unique to the café. “People have been given the opportunity to taste those things on the menu before they’ve been purchasing it, (and it’s) totally amazing.”
Part of making the cheese available to take home was responding to the needs of more surrounding residents in Generation Green’s current location.
“We’ve been really trying to cater a little bit more to (residents), and just providing some more of those conveniences,” says Sobey, extending some of the cafés ingredients like Eadha bread to residents to take home.
When Generation Green first got its start, Sobey knew there would be people like her looking to make more eco-friendly choices for their household, but in the company’s six-plus years, she’s been floored by the conversations started with these spiritually awakened folk, and wanted to find a way to bring that community together in a more organized, recurring way.
Enter The Wildflower Project, the latest side offering from Generation Green, where Sobey hosts a podcast dealing with the latest questions and ethical solutions explored by this mindful community. Experts are consulted, and dilemmas are discussed, always with this lens of how to live more mindfully in the world alongside Mother Earth — Sobey’s greatest passion.
In addition to the podcasts, Generation Green hosts workshops led by the experts in its space.
If you’re interested in topics like holistic wellness, herbalism, and waste-free living, tune in to The Wildflower Project attend an upcoming workshop, or visit Generation Green to engage with staff and start your journey toward healthier, more environmentally-conscious living.
Let Generation Green help you live better, naturally. Visit them at 100-433 Main St.