6/25/2018, 5:56am CDT
The space on Lyndale Avenue that Vegan East is moving into. Vegan East, a vegan bakery based out of White Bear Lake, is expanding into Minneapolis on Lyndale Avenue later this summer. The bakery is one of the only solely vegan bakeries in the Twin Cities, most other bakeries offer non-vegan goods with a smattering of vegan goods. The bakery currently operates out of White Bear Lake and wholesales throughout the metro to a variety of businesses, including St. Paul’s Nina’s Coffee Cafe and northeast Minneapolis’s Crepe and Spoon. The owner’s new lease at 2409 Lyndal Ave. S began on June 1, and construction on the 1,000-square-foot-space began the same day. It will offer baked goods, coffee, kombucha from North Star Kombucha and small vegan food plates. The bakery is counter-service, though the new space can seat 20 to 30 and has two patios outside their building. “The intention was from the beginning to have a space in the middle of the metro,”said Reid Nelson, the co-owner of Vegan East with his wife Sheila (both vegans.) “When we found the space in White Bear we didn’t stop looking.” The new space was a former vegan restaurant, and Reid said it does not need much work before opening. He anticipates they’ll spend roughly $10,000 on the space before opening - mostly in tweaking the kitchen. It’s a similar situation to their space in White Bear Lake, where they purchased a former bakery and operated out of it without any substantial work. He said they have been able to operate without needing to take on any bank loans. The wife-and-husband business duo started the company after noticing a “void” of vegan bakeries in the metro, and seeing an opportunity to capitalize on that. Reid handles the business-side of the bakery, while also working another job at Lifetime Fitness full-time. Sheila works full-time baking, and the bakery currently has 17 employees — 14 part-time and three full-time — in addition to her. Reid said that while they’re focused on their Minneapolis location, he’s excited to see the vegan industry continue to grow. He said in the future they would continue to consider purchasing former bakery spaces that are struggling and convert them to Vegan Easts. Most Vegan East items cost anywhere from $4 to $6, with options ranging from quiche to muffins. Marshall Nguyen, vice president of sales and leasing at Caspian Group, co-brokered the deal. Caspian is the landlord for the space.