Expowest 2015 (Photos)

I started writing this at the airport after our trip down to ExpoWest – a massive natural products trade show and networking event in Anaheim, CA, and have continued writing bits of it as time has passed. Lots of time has passed – We were at ExpoWest early last month. JC and I went last year, which lead me to post a three part look at some of the new stuff I got to see. We booked that trip in a last minute frenzy, I didn’t get much of a chance to look at some of the exhibitors I wanted to see, and there are thousands of them anyway. It’s hard to narrow it down – even with some advanced planning, it was still hard to take in everything (but I think we managed). My angle is go super intense into exploring on the Friday, and maybe into Saturday – trying everything I see that sparks my interest (and generally avoiding the ingredients section until later in the weekend) then, I have the opportunity to go back and visit some of the vendors and creators that interested me the first time around and find out a bit more information from them. My usual questions – vegan? where is it made? when/if it will be available in Canada? And whatever else they want to tell me. I attended as a retailer last year, and press this year, and it was a slightly different experience, but still generally pleasant. On the bright side…

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Laguna Beach – Southern California.

It was the day JC was leaving to go back to Toronto, one day before me, and we had spent most of our days at ExpoWest, and some of the time vegetating in the sunshine or in our air conditioned, but otherwise sparse, hmotel room. We woke up and wanted to do something, to explore whatever it is that Southern California has going for it (which is lots of lovely things.) So we started our day by going to Laguna Beach. It was one of those days where we wanted to do something, but kept finding other things we wanted to do. We thought of going into Los Angeles for brunch (at Flore.) Or here. Or there. The beach won. We went, and it was so sunny and amazing, we took off our shoes/sandals and walked down the beach with our feet in the sand. Let me tell you something… the water wasn’t warm. But I just had to put my feet in it. And take a video. Then I did something I said I’d never do. I posted a video to Instagram. And yes, these are my feet. (with Butter nail lacquer in His/Her Royal Highness Purple.) In my defense, my usual spot to post videos (Vine) wasn’t letting me upload anything, so after the second “failed upload” message, I popped open instagram and saved a memory of sunny beaches and waves lapping at my feet. I look at this video now that I’m back in Toronto and it makes…

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A visit to Cinnaholic and Gracias Madre.

Two recommendations were brought up during my dinner at Millennium. Cinnaholic, a vegan cinnamon bun place in Berkeley, CA that had only recently opened up, and Gracias Madre, an organic, vegan Mexican restaurant in the Mission area of San Francisco. I went over to Cinnaholic that morning and tried the Old Fashioned cinnamon bun. I’m pretty traditional with my sweet foods (well… I guess as traditional as vegan cinnamon buns can be) and I loved it. The bun was firm on the outside, and soft on the inside, rolled up with an adequate amount of cinnamon sugar. But the icing really sealed the deal, it was magic. Two people were working there, and one of them was great and friendly, the other one not so much. Maybe my questions were irritating, but I was curious and excited to be there. I noted that they didn’t really openly say “vegan” anywhere, and thought that was kind of a good idea. It doesn’t “taste vegan” at all, so why not? They’ve only been open about a month, and as a really nice touch they have a student discount! Which is great considering they are located right outside of the UC Berkeley Campus. I like the idea of custom designing cinnamon bun toppings, but I wasn’t feeling very creative, so I picked up the special of the day, a Butterscotch chocolate chip oreo cookie. It was good, but the old fashioned one was totally my favourite. I jumped on the BART and headed…

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