Chomp Vegan Eatery arrives in Port Moody

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      Vanessa Mills knows that some people harbour the misconception that all vegan food is “blah”.

      The 29-year-old restaurateur is out to show otherwise with Chomp Vegan Eatery (7-201 Morrissey Road), which opened in Port Moody on November 26 and is also a gluten-free establishment.

      “What’s very important to me is everything is flavourful,” Mills told the Georgia Straight by phone from her restaurant in Suter Brook Village. “I’ve had people come in here that are not vegan, that are not vegetarian, and that don’t eat gluten-free, and I want them to be able to enjoy the meal just as much.”

      The first vegan restaurant in Metro Vancouver’s Tri-Cities, Chomp serves up a selection of salads ($8.88 to $9), sandwiches and wraps ($9.22 to $10), and mains ($9 to $11.22). Examples of each category include the Summer Salad, composed of black beans, chickpeas, corn, cucumber, tomatoes, and red onion; the Grilled Cheese Madness sandwich, made with Daiya dairy-free cheese; and the Fiery Thai Tofu Bowl, which features red pepper, carrot, and bean sprouts under a spicy peanut sauce. Chomp also has cookies, cupcakes, and donuts, all made in house.

      Mills, who lives in Port Coquitlam, said she decided to make the restaurant entirely vegan and gluten-free so customers with dietary concerns wouldn’t have to worry about cross-contamination or modifying their orders. According to her, Chomp uses ingredients that are almost always organic, as well as produce that is locally grown as much possible.

      “There’s nothing made from any type of animal whatsoever,” Mills said. “Even with sugar, because of the process that it’s made in, I know that a lot of the regular granulated sugar is made and processed through bone. So, we use the cane sugar, and, for a honey substitute, we use the agave.”

      Prior to becoming a restaurateur, Mills worked as a server and a bartender, as well as at a catering company and other jobs. She started putting together the concept for Chomp back in April and refined her business plan while taking a self-employment course at Douglas College. In October, she took over the leased space and started setting up her 800-square-foot eatery.

      At just over three weeks old, Chomp contains seating for 10 people and does takeout. Mills said she’s thinking about offering delivery.

      Mills also noted that her business is helping support two Tri-Cities charities—the Charlene Reaveley Children’s Charity Society and the SHARE Family & Community Services Society—by directing a portion of the proceeds from food specials and sales of local artists’ work displayed in the restaurant to them.

      “I also want to become a part of more community events, just to get out there,” Mills said. “Obviously, we’re just starting off, so we don’t have a lot of money, but whatever I can give back I’m absolutely going to, because that was a huge push for me to want to do this.”

      Mills acknowledged that she opened Chomp with a “very basic” menu. But she has lots of ideas for potential menu items, which she plans to try out as specials and, if successful, add to the lineup. Lasagna is likely one of these dishes.

      In any case, at Chomp, Mills aims to offer up food that satisfies the taste buds while being healthy, cruelty-free, and environmental friendly.

      “We do have the more healthy, light options, and we also have the comfort food that you can go out and kind of engorge in,” Mills said. “Obviously, it is a little healthier—it is what I like to call the 'delicious healthy alternative'—but you can still get that comfort food here as well.”

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      Dec 19, 2011 at 6:31pm

      This place looks awesome. I can't wait to visit!


      Dec 19, 2011 at 6:53pm

      Enjoy your six months in business: Port Moodities don't take to kindly to having their cooks flaunting their tats so proudly. It reminds them that Bacon brothers and their douchey crowd live there a la Browns social house.


      Dec 19, 2011 at 7:34pm

      Another great place to check out. I love this city.


      Dec 20, 2011 at 1:41pm

      Looking forward to eating here!


      Dec 21, 2011 at 5:56pm

      Tried the Grilled Cheese Madness. It was awesome. Can't wait to come again!


      Dec 21, 2011 at 9:46pm

      After hearing about chomp I decided to check it out. I had the poutine and it was excellent. The service was wonderful and the atmosphere was warm and comfortable.

      And as for moodier and that comment about the tattoos, get a life tattoos are an art form , and the idiot bacon brothers give tattoos a bad name. Your ignorant.

      Port Moodite

      Dec 23, 2011 at 11:47am

      Hey Moodier!!! Get a fricken life buddy. I'm a musician in the city of the arts. I have tattoo's. ART. Not to mention that we have TWO tattoo shops in Port Moody. ART! I'm not sure where you come off thinking that you speak for Port Moody cause you sure as hell don't speak for any kind of majority. Chomp rocks! Their food rocks! You do not.

      I'm embarassed that someone from my city would even write a comment like that. Did the air leave your brain? And as for the Bacon brother and browns. Who gives a rats ass. He can have it. Tattoo's or not i'm proud to live in this city, and happy that a young woman can open a business like this and be successful. She'll be seeing YOU in 6 months jerk off.


      Dec 26, 2011 at 10:23pm

      Wishing her all the success possible, it appears she deserves it.


      Jan 21, 2012 at 7:20pm

      Real food for real people.........I'm not a vegan but tried it and it was great. A nice break from my regular non-vegan diet!!