Loyal to Local: KraVegan

Loyal to Local: KraVegan
Lew and LaTasha on KraVegan's food truck

The Riverside Arts Market (RAM), now entering its 14th year, is a weekly makers and farmers market hosted by Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., rain or shine. Each week more than 100 small business owners gather under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge to sell their products to the local community. Keep reading to learn more about some of the incredible vendors that make RAM a must-visit part of every Saturday.

Now more than ever, Americans seem to be interested in incorporating more plant-based foods into their diets. There’s Veganuary, Meatless Monday, and the fact that there’s been a 300% increase in people turning to a plant-based diet in the past 15 years, according to a study done by Ipsos Retail Performance.

Jacksonville is no exception the vegan trend, with more options for plant-based eaters popping up all around the city. In fact, there are even a few fully vegan restaurants for the plant-based and plant-based curious alike. One of the staples in a vegan Jaxson’s diet, KraVegan, is offering up handmade, plant-based food filled with an ingredient that’s impossible to not enjoy: love.

Kraphilly Cheezesteak Picture Credit @mildvegan
Kraphilly Cheezesteak Picture Credit @mildvegan

For co-founder and co-owner LaTasha Kaiser, cooking is in her genes. She was taught to make food from scratch as a young child by her father, who told her that “food is like colors. You shouldn’t be afraid to play around with flavors.”

Despite her time in the kitchen, Kaiser never intended to work in food service. That all changed in the summer of 2019 when she and her husband, Lew, watched a documentary on veganism.

“… At the end of the documentary we were new vegans. It was that simple for us. We didn’t have health issues, and we weren’t interested in having any.”

LaTasha and Lew Kaiser
LaTasha and Lew Kaiser

One month into her plant-based journey, LaTasha found herself wanting food with higher quality ingredients. This led her back into the kitchen once again, writing recipes and creating meatless versions of her favorite meals. The demand for her food was so immediate that, instead of opening a small catering company like she was intending to, she and her husband decided to “step out on faith, becoming full-time entrepreneurs.”

Today, KraVegan has been a restaurant for over three years, with a physical storefront located in the Orange Park Mall and a food truck that serves regularly at RAM and James Weldon Johnson Park. For two years in a row they have been voted Best Vegan Restaurant in News4Jax’s JaxBest.

Fried Chik’n Dinner Picture Credit - KraVegan
Fried Chik’n Dinner Picture Credit – KraVegan

With a menu that can best be described as soul food, the Kaiser’s pride themselves on the fact that there’s something for everyone to enjoy at their restaurant. From Philly cheesesteaks to fried chicken dinners, KraVegan has created a mouthwatering vegan option that’s “high in nutrients, bold in flavor, and deliciously textured.”

Of all their offerings, LaTasha says there’s a clear crowd favorite: the Kraveyback Ribz. Made from mushrooms and jackfruit, she says they’re “the number one seller week after week.”

LaTasha and Lew Kaiser
LaTasha and Lew Kaiser

With so much growth in such a short amount of time, the Kaisers continue to be committed to sharing delicious plant-based eats with as many people as possible. As they look to the future, they hope to do more catering work and grow the restaurant. 

If you want to keep up with KraVegan, be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram. To get your plant-based fix you can find them at their restaurant Monday through Saturday, or at under the bridge at RAM every Saturday. You can also find their signature sauces for purchase at their restaurant, food truck, or Native Sun Kitchen & Market in Jacksonville Beach.Are you interested in becoming a RAM maker in 2023? Applications are now open to the public and will be until the market reaches capacity. Please visit the Applications tab on RAM’s website for access to the application. Before applying please note that the market is currently at capacity for and therefore not accepting applications for: ceramics/pottery, clothes, jewelry, soap/body products, candles, cut flowers, macrame, and all food items. If this includes you and you’d still like to share your products with the market, please fill out the Vendor Interest Form.

Loaded Fries Picture Credit - KraVegan
Loaded Fries Picture Credit – KraVegan
Krabless Cakes Over Mac Picture Credit - KraVegan
Krabless Cakes Over Mac Picture Credit – KraVegan
Jackfruit Chik’n Sandwich Picture Credit - KraVegan
Jackfruit Chik’n Sandwich Picture Credit – KraVegan
KraVegan Sauces Picture Credit KraVegan
KraVegan Sauces Picture Credit – KraVegan
Kalamari Dinner Picture Credit @dbarnett2113
Kalamari Dinner Picture Credit @dbarnett2113
Smoked Beefless Roast Dinner Picture Credit - KraVegan
Smoked Beefless Roast Dinner Picture Credit – KraVegan
Mango Verde and Chik’n Tacos Picture Credit - KraVegan
Mango Verde and Chik’n Tacos Picture Credit – KraVegan
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