For Businesses

“Thanks for suggesting we offer a nondairy, milk option (almond).  Once we did, we immediately started getting more business–and when we added a second nondairy option (soy), we got even more business.  There’s obviously a big vegan market in Kalamazoo, and we’re happy to serve it!”–Jamie Brock, Coffee Rescue

After the positive reception of our vegan menu option for the Earth Day Festival we have decided to always offer vegan or vegetarian options at our events. We’ve found that there really is a good vegan market in Kalamazoo! Thanks to Vegan Kalamazoo for the suggestions and support.–Shyam Shepard & Amanda Castro, Pachamama Street Food

To All Southwest Michigan Business Owners:

Plants, according to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, are, “the future of food.” That’s why he’s invested in Beyond Meat, a leading manufacturer of vegan meat alternatives. And it’s not just Gates: Biz Stone (Twitter founder), Elon Musk (Tesla), and many other tech and nontech entrepreneurs are all investing in vegan products. Even meatpacking giants Tyson Foods and Cargill are “going vegan” by investing in up-and-coming vegan companies.

And the vegan opportunity isn’t just about food, either: consumers are increasingly seeking vegan / cruelty-free cosmetics, clothing, furnishings, entertainment, and other products and services. Even cars! Last year, Tesla announced its first vegan car, featuring an interior made entirely from non-animal-derived fabrics, glues, and other components.

Here in Kalamazoo, Vegan Kalamazoo has grown to nearly 2,500 people in just three years. These are highly-motivated consumers who are always on the lookout for new vegan products.

Want your business to join the vegan gold rush? Vegan Kalamazoo is here to help! Our Business Consulting Service will help you:

  • Identify products (or services) you sell that are already vegan
  • Identify those that could be easily be made vegan
  • Identify those that will take more effort but could potentially be very profitable
  • Introduce you to new vegan products that you could easily add to your mix

Then we’ll help you:

  • Learn about the vegan market. It’s big, and getting bigger! People who are health-conscious, environmentally-conscious, and animal lovers are all embracing veganism, as are people who keep kosher or halal, or who have egg or dairy allergies. And young people are especially turning on to veganism!
  • Develop your vegan branding, marketing, and sales; and,
  • Connect you with your vegan market! Vegan Kalamazoo currently has more than 2,000 people on its lists, many of whom are eager for new vegan products. (Plus, in many cases, you can also sell regionally and even nationally.)

In some cases, we may even be able to:

  • connect you with sources of investment funding specifically targeted at vegan enterprises.

Most of our services are free or affordable, and we’ve got special services just for restaurateurs and food businesses!

Please see the below list of available services, and contact Hillary Rettig for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Veganizer Needs Assessment / Preliminary Plan
Duration: 90 minutes
Cost: Free / No Obligation

Vegan Kalamazoo cofounder and organizer Hillary Rettig will help you look at your business from the standpoint of locating opportunities to serve the growing local, regional, national, and international vegan markets. We’ll review your current product (or service) offerings, marketing, sales, and operations, and come up with a preliminary plan of the most profitable and easiest-to-implement possibilities.

About the consultant: Hillary Rettig is cofounder and organizer of Vegan Kalamazoo. She’s been vegan for 15 years, and lectures, writes, and coaches globally on effective veganism and vegan activism. She is also a highly experienced business trainer / coach / microlender who for many years ran programs funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Office of Refugee Resettlement. Ms. Rettig is also a lifelong entrepreneur with significant experience in high tech and a passionate interest in social change and helping innovative products succeed.

Follow-on Consulting / Business Plan Development
Duration:  as needed
Cost: $35/hour purchasable in 5-hour blocks.

Our consultant will work with you to further develop, and then implement, your plan.

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