Veg in a Box’s Grand Opening Party Celebrates Plant-Based Flavors

September 11, 2015

Customers enjoy the vegan at Veg in a Box.

Customers enjoy the vegan at Veg in a Box.

by Mariana Colín

Tucson’s choice of vegan-friendly options has gotten bigger over the summer. Veg in a Box, which set up shop at 75 E. Pennington in July, is holding their grand opening party this Saturday. The restaurant, which started as a food truck, has responded to the increasing demand for plant-based food, finding a permanent location that, according to co-owner Matt Price, wasn’t something the restaurant was necessarily even looking for.

“The opportunity just kind of presented itself to us,” he says, referring to the sale of the location that Veg in A Box now occupies next to another vegan restaurant, Urban Fresh. Rather than seeing the proximity of his restaurant to Urban Fresh as drawback or a competition, he sees it as an opportunity to promote both businesses.

“People have to eat a lot,” says Matt, adding that as long as Veg in a Box can provide the public with fantastic plant-based options he sees no reason why the sun can’t shine for everyone. He hopes to promote the area as a “green corner” defined by both restaurants, not just one or the other. As gluten-free and vegan diets become less of a niche interest, the presence of two vegan options in the same area seems more than sustainable, even beneficial.

This becomes especially apparent when one considers the fresh, flavorful food that Veg in a Box sells, including zucchini bacon, black bean and chia brownies, and organic blue corn pancakes with prickly pear marmalade. With these great menu items made from unusual, but guilt-free and fresh ingredients, they’re making a mission of normalizing vegan foods.

Veg in a Box features an extensive fresh, vegan, organic, non-GMO menu, with house-made pastries to match.

Veg in a Box features an extensive fresh, vegan, organic, non-GMO menu, with house-made pastries to match.

“We don’t want to put people off,” says Matt in regards to the common perception of vegan foods as tasteless or strange. “We don’t have to be scared of the word ‘plant-based’ since really we’re serving what you’re used to in that plant-based, vegan form.”

Matt and co-owner Erik Korchmaros want Veg in a Box to be a place to grab a burger and fries, a benefit, Matt points out, to people who want to shift their diet toward a more plant-based form for medical or personal reasons.

Their form of veganism is not exclusionary to taste. In fact, taste is really all that matters.

“We’re vegan, plant-based, and non-GMO, but delicious first and foremost,” says Matt.

He and Erik aren’t interested in selling a lifestyle of veganism. Their only goal is to introduce the public to great food, and get the word out about the amazing spectrum of flavor plants can have. If it happens to be healthier and more ethical, all the better.

The grand opening party on Saturday, September 12th will allow visitors to experience what Veg in A Box is all about in a variety of ways. Beginning at 5:45, the festivities will include rooftop yoga with Mind Body Solutions, music, a veggie toss for the kids, and of course, a sampling of all the flavors you can experience at the restaurant.

As well as being a celebration of their new location, the grand opening party will also mark the launch of Veg in a Box’s 60-day Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. The restaurant wants to get its veggie burgers sold in stores, and need the public’s help to do so. Those who donate will be treated to rewards, the details of which you can learn when the campaign starts. You can find more information about donating at Veg in a Box’s Facebook page.