Los Angeles-centered vegan icons Heather Golden Ray and Jenny Engel, also known as the “Spork Sisters,” have championed the vegan life-style via their cooking university for an extraordinary 16 years. A short while ago, they stepped onto a new stage of culinary innovation with the grand opening of their most current venture, a vegan cafe termed Hey, Sunshine Kitchen. 

Ray and Engel, the driving forces behind the plant-based food items company and cooking college Spork Foodstuff, at first produced waves in 2007 by imparting their culinary knowledge by way of vegan cooking courses in Los Angeles. 

Quickly, their cooking college expanded from small gatherings in their Silver Lake condominium kitchen area to a more substantial room in West Hollywood.

But their journey didn’t cease there it blossomed into cooking demonstrations, finest-marketing vegan cookbooks, and now, the realization of a extended-held dream—a vegan restaurant.

The start of a vegan cafe

The path to Hey, Sunshine Kitchen was not without having issues, as the thought of opening a restaurant normally satisfied with skepticism because of to its perceived challenges. Nevertheless, for Ray and Engel, the undertaking was far more than just a organization decision it was a contacting. 

“For much more than 15 years, we trained dwelling cooks and chefs at resorts, accommodations, and universities. We have generally envisioned that we would start off a cafe endeavor collectively,” Ray tells VegNews. “We arrived up with the concept for Hey, Sunshine Kitchen as a way to promote healthier consuming in our neighborhood.”

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Their desire of bringing Hey, Sunshine Kitchen to existence begun four a long time back at a trade show in Dallas, TX. “We performed with so several iterations of the menu for years,” Ray claims. “We experienced a plant-dependent barbecue strategy at initial, but in the end landed on what Hey, Sunshine Kitchen is nowadays.”

“We required to make a room exactly where all people, no matter their nutritional preference, could delight in flavorsome, modern, and hearty plant-dependent foods,” Ray suggests. 

In reality, Ray and Engel came up with the title, Hey Sunshine Kitchen area, at a Denver, CO restaurant identified as Linger—and, ironically, during a thunderstorm. “If you ever consume there you may well see the portray that encouraged our identify,” Ray hints.

Nourishing the LA local community

Found in the coronary heart of Culver Town, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen emerged as the manifestation of their lifelong passion. A meticulously curated menu features an array of vegan choices, together with refreshing salads, hearty sandwiches, nourishing bowls, and delectable vegan desserts.

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The choices incorporate the Avocado Crunch Salad, featuring sesame-crusted avocado, dried cranberries, sweet potato, and a cornucopia of other wholesome substances. Ray and Engel’s particular beloved is the Mediterranean Chickpea Heat Bowl, with a griddled property-produced chickpea patty, caramelized onions, shredded carrots, marinated beets, cucumber, sunflower seeds, refreshing mint, massaged kale, home pickles, and a creamy lemon herb aioli. 

Consolation meals aficionados aren’t left guiding, as Hey, Sunshine Kitchen area caters to their cravings with dishes these types of as the Crispy Chicken Sandwich and Vintage Cheeseburger. For a sweet take care of, Ray claims their Rainbow Chocolate Chip Cookie provides a “unique and whimsical acquire on the common chocolate chip cookie.”

With this kind of a varied menu, Ray and Engel want to welcome all people.

“We figure out that eating plant-primarily based can be a obstacle,” Ray suggests. “Some may find it tricky to alter to the style and texture of plant-primarily based alternatives or may possibly have constrained access to these alternatives.”

“At Hey, Sunshine Kitchen area, we hope to provide plant-primarily based, 100-p.c non-GMO solutions that are mouth watering to all, no matter of whether they observe a plant-centered diet plan or not,” she suggests. 

Devoted to the ecosystem

Hey, Sunshine Kitchen’s mission extends outside of the menu. In collaboration with Buddies of Ballona Wetlands, the sisters embarked on an initiative to showcase pollinator-helpful vegetation on their patio, inviting the local community to partake in their environmentally acutely aware endeavours. 

For each individual entrée acquired on Mondays, patrons receive a complimentary plant, solidifying the restaurant’s dedication to nurturing equally its patrons and the planet. “At Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, we are also dedicated to leaving the earth in a superior location for our young children,” Ray claims.

In addition to furthering the vegan motion in LA, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen area stands as a testament to the electricity of determination, the importance of group support, and the likely of vegan cuisine. 

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And even nevertheless Ray and Engel are not onsite day-to-day as they continue to oversee various factors of the small business, Ray says they have a committed staff that is tough at perform setting up Hey, Sunshine Kitchen as a will have to-stop by Los Angeles desired destination.

“We enjoy to come into the place as often as feasible to join with our group and buyers, gather opinions, and soak in the vivid atmosphere,” Engel says. “This will allow us to keep carefully linked to the coronary heart and soul of the restaurant though also functioning on its long-term expansion and good results.”

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By Taba