A vegan deli?? I KNOW, YOU GUYS
Gutenfleischers is a freaking magical place. A sandwich counter located inside of Dough Bakery here in Atlanta, you can get all kinds of house-made fake meats on fresh baked bread with yummy sauces and toppings. Seriously, Gutenflesichers is a vegan wonderland, and I love their sandwiches almost as much as I love the super vegan duo behind the company: Star and Simon.
I’ve known Star and Simon for years, and it’s so great to see their passion for vegan food become their livelihood. If you’re in Atlanta and haven’t eaten at Gutenfleischers yet, GO! While you’re there, grab some vegan pastries at Dough Bakery. You won’t be sorry!
My favorites at Gutenfleischers are the Banh Mi Pasta Salad and their vegan breakfast sandwiches. The herbed turkey slices are always a solid choice for your sandwiches, and they have a new special every week!
Star and Simon basically live at their little sandwich counter, so I was super excited that Simon was able to sneak away and answer my 5 questions! Check out a little bit about how they launched Gutenfleischers and what makes them tick.
1. Tell me a little bit about how Gutenfleischers got started.â€¨
The idea for Gutenfleischers began shortly after I became vegan. Since childhood I remember gazing through the glass of the deli case at the blocks that were whisked away at my mother’s behest and then magically transformed into slices, weighed, wrapped and labeled by the person white apron and plastic shower cap. Upon going vegan this experience disappeared and was replaced by rows and rows and uniform cardboard boxes filled uniformly with uniform slices, all with a basically uniform taste. Boring. My goal was to bring the human interaction back to buying meat alternatives.
The first year and a half of sales were done using an email list and by special order only of 2 or 4 items a week. During this time we moved into a shared commercial kitchen, experimented with different varieties of deli meats and developed some of our specialty items like “ham” roasts and racks of “ribs.” After a couple of other options fell didn’t pan out, we combined forces with Dough Bakery to realize our dream and open our first full service deli space.
2. What draws you to veganism?â€¨
I was drawn to veganism for several reasons. I was born with a dairy allergy that I largely ignored, so I usually ate things that contributed to me feeling sub-par most of the time. Even after I started eating “consciously” I still didn’t feel great from the food I was eating. Already wanting to make decisions that were better environmentally, the key driver was one of personal responsibility and self reliance. I only wanted to eat things that I could / would be willing to produce myself. Unwilling to raise animals and kill them for food, I stopped eating them.
3. What inspires you?â€¨
I am inspired by people who are passionate about what they do and are passionate about sharing it with others. I enjoy healthy obsession and think it leads to good things. But what’s the point in expending tons of energy in something if you don’t expend equal amounts of energy sharing and educating others so they can enjoy something the same way you do.
4. Who are your vegan heroes?â€¨
My vegan heros include Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, without them relearning to cook would have been extra challenging and Weird Al Yankovic, who I always was a fan of and even more so knowing that he is vegan.
5. Where can folks find your products?