Photo: Passyunk Post
Soon to be VeganCommissary.
Steve Laurence, an industry lifer and caterer who supplies vegan comestibles to coffee shops like Good Karma 2 and Last Drop, is targeting a pre-holidays opening for his VeganCommissary at 11th and Morris, the space formerly occupied by yo-cuz luncheonette, Little Snuff's.
"Everybody is in their 20s but me," laughs Laurence of his staff, all of whom are partners and will be paid a living wage ($10.75 and hour, per PA regulations, with benefits), a cornerstone of VeganCommissary's business model. The prices on the blackboard menu will be inclusive of tax and tip.
Executed by chef Leigh Needham, a vegetarian and veteran of Good Dog and (ironically) Barclay Prime, that menu will feature things like vegan sushi, edamame hummus with togarashi-spiced wonton chips, barley-and-hops salad, a vegan burger and more. Laurence's growing catering ops will run out of the same kitchen, so the sit-down menu will change frequently based on what's cooking for his clients.
Laurence became a vegetarian after his dad, who was battling cancer, went macriobiotic as part of his treatment. "He became so healthy, it changed who he was and how I looked at food." Going vegan was the next step, a move that pushed him into his current business.
Not that VeganCommissary will be exclusive to herbivores. "This is going to be a moderately price, neighborhood restaurant where vegans and anyone else can come and have a good meal."
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