VeganHood, a 100 percent plant-based restaurant located on Harlem’s Restaurant Row, has just marked its one-year anniversary. At their celebratory brunch, which included Melba Wilson, owner of Melba’s Restaurant and Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, VeganHood Co-Founders Janine Smalls-Gueye and Lanise Herman-Thomas were presented with the Certificate of Recognition from The City of New York signed by Mayor Eric L. Adams.
The restaurant owners were recognized for their participation in the city’s world-renowned dining scene with their vegan soul food and Caribbean-inspired cuisine, which has introduced countless New Yorkers to the delicious possibilities of plant-based living.
“We are honored to be recognized by New York City for our entrepreneurship and commitment to the community,” says co-founder Janine Smalls-Gueye. “VeganHood is proud to bring plant-based recipes to the community so everyone can learn first-hand that vegan menu items are delicious and it is possible to veganize without compromise.”
Additionally, the Certificate of Recognition cites their donation program as all VeganHood customers “eat for a cause” with a portion of their profits benefiting the 501(c) nonprofit they co-founded in 2017, Young Excellence Society, providing innovative after-school and summer programs for youth in the Harlem community.
“The nonprofit supports local students with meaningful after-school and summer programs,” adds co-founder Lanise Herman-Thomas. “We let all of our customers know they are contributing to a worthy cause.” Later this month, Herman-Thomas will be a featured panelist at the 2023 Vegan Women Summit.
As they enter their second year of restaurant success, the co-founders are planning another location and launch of VeganHood-branded merchandise and seasonings