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veg fest

Doris Kun in her restaurant, The Pea Pod, in downtown Port Elgin where we chatted with her about the first ever Grey Bruce VegFest. The event is set to take place July 13 at the Plex.

Hub Staff

When asked why a VegFest in Grey Bruce, Doris Kun simply replied, "Because we don't have one."

Kun, organizer and sponsor of Grey Bruce VegFest and owner of The Pea Pod, a vegan restaurant in downtown Port Elgin, attended her first VegFest last year in London, Ontario and said she loved the vibes and the energy so much she decided it was time to host a similar event in Saugeen Shores.

"Everybody [at London VegFest] was just incredible and I wanted to bring that here so I decided this was the year it was going to happen," Kun said when we chatted with her January 25. "The response so far has been incredible, we've had quite a few applicants to be vendors and guest speakers, it's really exciting," she said.

In addition to approaching vegan food trucks from the city because there aren't any in Grey Bruce, Kun said vendors and guest speakers will mostly be local. "So Grey Bruce and Collingwood and Meaford, all around this area that otherwise don't have a way of all gathering together," she said. "There's a lot of places that even I hadn't heard of so that was exciting when they reached out," she added.

"There's quite a few cafes and restaurants, Sprout and Bleeding Carrot (Owen Sound), then there's quite a few people who make their own creams and lotions, that sort of thing, NakdBasics in Owen Sound, all plant based, then there's some people who make clothing lines that are vegan and plant based as well," explained Kun.

"We're up to 15 [vendors] so far," she said, adding that they're still looking for event sponsors. Anyone interested can email "Email us or go to the website," said Kun.

For now Grey Bruce VegFest runs off The Pea Pod website and a Facebook event page but near the end of February, the event will transition to its own domain. An Instagram page is also planned.

"I just want people to experience what plant based living can actually mean," said Kun. "There's not just The Pea Pod because it's the only thing in Port Elgin, there's so many more options and it's not a difficult thing to do," she said.

"We want people to come and taste things and try new things and be like, 'Wow, I can have a vegan donut and it still tastes like a donut,' there's ethical body creams that don't test on animals, that sort of thing, just knowing your options," said Kun.

"It's for everybody, absolutely everybody, just come and experience it," she said.

Kun said in addition to vendors and food and product samples, there will be guest speakers and face painting for the kids. "It will just be a fun day filled with nothing but love," she said.

The first ever Grey Bruce VegFest is set to take place at the Plex in Port Elgin, 600 Tomlinson Drive, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is a $5 charge at the door to attend and children under 12 are free. There is plenty of free parking.

Kun said a summer date was chosen so that there's an opportunity for locals as well as summer residents and tourists to learn all that Grey Bruce has to offer.