Monday, March 22, 2010

Two VeganMania Heroes in the News

It's been a great morning to read the news today. Not only are there two inspiring stories about Chicago area vegans who have found exciting and fulfilling ways to bring the vegan lifestyle to the rest of the world, but both of these amazing entrepreneurs are part of the Chicago VeganMania core group, both were instrumental to the success of last year's event, and both are lending their considerable talents to making Chicago VeganMania 2010 the most incredible vegan event ever.

First, there is a lively and enriching interview on this morning with our own Leanne Maily-Hilgart, the wünderkind behind the beautiful coats and fashion of Vaute Couture. Leanne, who is already riding high from Vaute Couture's successful first season (not to mention her beautiful cover shot and story in the March-April 2010 issue of VegNews magazine), tells her story of vegan transcendence to the legions of Oprah fans, and goes on to dispel the five most common myths of vegan fashion. There's even a slideshow featuring some of Vaute Couture's gorgeous designs. Yay, Leanne!

Not to be outdone, CVM core group member Josh Alper and his talented Chef-Daughter Betty of the delectable Bot Bakery are featured in a tasty article in Daily Candy called Hot to Bot. Betty has perfected the art and science of delicious vegan and gluten-free pastries and other delicacies that can be had at Chicago's best local foods grocery store, Green Grocer, as well at Betty and Josh's wonderful Great Taste Café in the downtown Streeterville neighborhood.

Vaute Couture and the Bot Bakery are just two of the many exciting local vegan businesses who will be gracing the huge Chicago VeganMania festival on October 9 at Pulaski Park. We'll profile more of these wonderful businesses throughout the spring and summer as they make news (and they will!). But for today, let's savor the thought that we live in a city with such great vegan pioneers as Leanne, Josh and Betty.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Come To Our Spring Shindig Kickoff Fundraiser!

The season leading up to the massive 2010 Chicago VeganMania has officially begun with our first big tabling gig last weekend at the Family Farmed EXPO. We connected with a whole bunch of great people, and it really got us fired up for all the wonderful events and plans leading up to the Big Day.

Now we're ready to announce the most exciting thing we'll be doing all spring! On Saturday evening, April 10th, we're hosting a fantastic Spring Shindig at Framing Mode & Gallery in the South Loop. Here's a chance to hang out with Chicago's vegan elite and enjoy a variety of delicious vegan food from some of Chicago's best restaurants and an open bar featuring local spirits and other drinks. Plus, we'll have a silent auction, tasty tunes and atmosphere from DJ Veganinblack, and more to come from local cruelty-free vendors! You'll be among the first to hear about all the wonderful things we have in store for this year's Chicago VeganMania, and all the other ways we'll be celebrating and promoting Chicago's vegan community. Best of all, you'll be helping us create another milestone event that will show the world just how wonderful it is to be a vegan in Chicago.

Here are the details:
Chicago VeganMania's Spring Shindig
Saturday, April 10, 7-10pm
at Framing Mode & Gallery
1526 S. Wabash in Chicago's South Loop

Tickets at $35 in advance, and $40 at the door if there are any left. It's not a big space, so it's sure to sell out. Tickets are available online at

Join the fun. It will be a magic night!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Visit us at our first tabling event of the year!

The long, exciting road to Chicago VeganMania 2010 begins this Saturday at the UIC Forum in Chicago. We'll be tabling all day at the 5th annual FamilyFarmed EXPO. The EXPO is a big celebration of Chicago's local food scene. Now, we love Chicago, we love local, and we love food, so we're excited to be there to help build a synergistic connection between local farmers, food producers, restaurants, supermarkets, institutions, governments, and the public. There will be chef's demos (including Jo Kaucher and Kim Gracen from the Chicago Diner), workshops, a food court, more than 100 exhibitors, and of course, us. We'll be there all day sharing our plans for what is shaping up to be an amazing Chicago VeganMania 2010.

The Family Farmed EXPO is happening Saturday, March 13, from 10:00 - 6:00 at the UIC Forum at Harrison and Halsted near the UIC campus in Chicago. Tickets are $20 at the door, but cheaper online. Visit to learn more or buy tickets. See you there!