Vegan Grocery Shopping in Charlotte, NC just got a whole lot easier!
Mind, there is plenty of vegan food and groceries in Charlotte – we are truly blessed. We are fortunate to have Harris Teeter, Earth Fare, and Whole Foods – all of which carry vegan groceries. And then there’s Trader Joes, and Healthy Home Market, and the trailblazing Eco-Licious and Greener Apple.
But … you need vegan ninja shopping skills to navigate your options. Harris Teeter, for example, carries a full line of Tofurky deli slices and sausages – but you’ll need to go Earth Fare or Whole Foods to find Daiya cheese. Looking for frozen veggie burgers at Harris Teeter? They are improbably hidden in the “Breakfast” frozen food section, with the frozen waffles and Jimmy Dean sausages. Nutritional yeast? At Harris Teeter you’ll find the nooch with baking goods, at Earth Fare with the spices, at Whole Foods with nutritional products. Let’s not forget about label reading … how many vegans have picked up a package of “Soy” or “Go Veggie!” cheese, only to find out the cheese does indeed contain dairy?
Bean Vegan Cuisine, the beloved 100% vegan restaurant specializing in Southern-style comfort foods, is putting an end to all that confusion with the Market At Bean … Charlotte’s first full all-vegan grocery store!
The Market at Bean aims to make the vegan grocery shopping experience easy and exciting, by bringing a wide variety of only 100% vegan products together under one roof. No need to drive from store to store. No need to carefully scrutinize labels to see if an item is vegan – the Market at Bean has already done the research for you.
The grand opening of Market at Bean is scheduled for November 1, World Vegan Day.
I stopped by the Market at Bean Saturday night. The Market is set up in the space formerly used as the Meeting/Special Events Room at Bean.
Shelves are still being stocked, but already there was a small, steady trickle of customers.
Here is what I noticed/learned on my visit …
Lots of vegan essentials. Soy and almond milk and creamers, Earth Balance, Vegenaise (including the hard-to-find Chipotle flavor), Just Mayo, nutritional yeast, assorted condiments, baking supplies.
Meat and Cheese Substitutes. Beyond Meat, Daiya, Field Roast, Gardein, Harmony Valley burger mix (the same mix Bean uses for their awesome hamburgers), Tofurky.
Not into faux meats and cheeses? I saw plenty of items of that are vegan without relying on meat and cheese substitutes … for example, Newman’s Own pasta sauce (including my favorite spicy Fra Diavalo sauce, which I haven’t been able to find in Charlotte for several years) and Tasty Bite heat-and-eat vegan Indian meals.
Hard to find items, like Gardein Fishless Filets, Butler Soy Curls, Field Roast Chao Cheese, Earth Balance Mac and Cheese box mixes, canned jackfruit (the secret ingredient in Bean’s Crabbie Patties and Crabbie Dip).
Snacks … usual suspects but also some interesting options like “cheesy” crackers, maple-and-bacon flavored potato chips, and candy bars from Go Max Go!
“Ready to eat” food from Bean … On my visit I spotted Bean’s house-made cheese, pimento cheesish dip, and take-and-bake chocolate chip cookies. I’m sure there will be many more options after the grand opening!
I also learned that the center of the market will have bins of fresh produce.
Being a frugal vegan, I also checked out the pricing. I’ve found that smaller specialty stores often have higher prices, but the Market at Bean is surprisingly competitive. Prices were what I’d expect to pay at Harris Teeter/Whole Foods/Earth Fare, and in several cases a bit less. Bean will also accept product coupons. And there’s the money savings you can realize by not burning gas driving from one store to another!
For the Grand Opening November 1st, Bean will be offering tastings throughout the day – both for various new commercial products that will be sold at the Market, and for the products Bean makes for the store such as their cheeses and dips. There will also be drawings for giveways of swag provided by vegan companies such as Go Max Go, Earth Balance, Field Roast, Beyond Meat, and Follow Your Heart. And if that’s not enough, Chef Charlie tells me Bean’s annual Thanksgiving Take and Bake menu should be ready, for those who want to start placing orders!
The Market at Bean will be open the same hours as Bean Vegan Cuisine Restaurant …
11:30 AM – 9:00 PM Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
10:00 AM – 9:00 PM Saturday
10:00 AM – 8:00 PM Sunday
Haven’t yet been to Bean?
Bean is located at 3001 E. Independence Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28205.
This is gonna be good, y’all.