New Westminster’s Karmavore Vegan Shop to move to bigger location
The onlyvegan store in the Vancouver area is preparing to move.
Next month, New Westminster’s Karmavore Vegan Shop—which stocks only goods free of animal products—will leave behind its tiny storefront at 468 East Columbia Street for a space at 610 Columbia Street that’s almost 10 times larger.
Salim Jamal, who owns Karmavore with his wife, Jennifer, told the Straight they hope to open the new store on November 1, which happens to be World Vegan Day.
“We were outgrowing the little space that we were in, and we wanted to be able to expand and offer some more options,” Jamal said by phone.
The new Karmavore will lie more conveniently between the New Westminster and Columbia SkyTrain stations. It will cover two floors and 2,300 square feet of space.
The ground floor will carry nonfood products, including footwear, cosmetics and beauty products, and fashion accessories, such as bags, belts, gloves, and wallets.
Dried, refrigerated, and frozen foods will be stocked on the lower level, which will also house what may be, to vegans, the store’s most exciting addition—a deli and bakery area.
This area of the store will offer meat alternatives, baked goods that they couldn’t sell before, and warm foods.
“It’s quite difficult to come by these things,” Jamal said. “So, it’s just really a matter of trying to make it more convenient for people.”
According to Jamal, the goal is for Karmavore to become a “one-stop shop” for local vegans and people who want to try cruelty-free products.
“The reception has been good enough and great that we do want to have greater capacity,” he said. “A lot of our products do tend to sell out very quickly, and bigger capacity will help deal with that as well.”
Karmavore opened its doors at its current location, near Sapperton Station, in July 2009.
The store also takes on-line orders—for products like Daiya vegan cheese and Field Roast sausages—and wholesales to restaurants and other businesses across Canada.
Ten percent of the store’s profits go to charity. The Jamals picked the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Lifeforce, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to receive the proceeds from the first year.
Jamal said they’re considering allowing their customers to choose the three nonprofits which will receive the next year’s proceeds.
In addition, Karmavore regularly hosts fundraisers for other charities, such as the Hearts On Noses pig sanctuary in Maple Ridge.
“It’s to spread the message of veganism and compassion,” Jamal said of why he and his wife run the store. “We mainly do this for animals.”
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