Shopping for Vegan Options at Oliver’s Market in Santa Rosa

Video by Spencer Asher

The grocery store sometimes seems like a very difficult place to find vegan food.  There are often huge meat, dairy and egg sections that crowd out the small number of vegan options.  Eating plant-based means rejecting animal products, so the last thing a vegan shopper wants to see is a bunch of real meat when they are looking for a veggie burger.  This is, however, the unfortunate reality for many people pursuing plant-based food.  Everywhere you look, there are the products you are trying to avoid, and when you do find a vegan product there is only a small selection.  

Oliver’s is a grocery store chain found in Sonoma County and like the popular Whole Foods Market, Oliver’s usually carries most of the basic vegan substitute foods that shoppers are looking for.  Sure, there are all the animal-based foods that vegans are trying to avoid but if they know where to look, they can almost always find a vegan version.  

Some products are gaining even more vegan options.  For example, there are at least half a dozen vegan ice creams that can be found at Oliver’s.  There are many options for vegan meat including Beyond and Gardein and many plant milks like Silk, vegan cheese like Miyoko’s, and vegan yogurt like Forager.  As vegan products become even more popular, it seems like new brands just keep popping up giving shoppers more options.  

According to Levi Biteng, a worker at Oliver’s in Santa Rosa, “Shoppers ask if the vegetables were grown in certain countries like Mexico or Spain.  With Oliver’s Grocery Store, a lot of these food products, they all come from here in Sonoma County.”  

This concern by shoppers to know where their products come from shows there is also a growing trend toward local food.  Many customers who are looking for local food also want food that is organically grown which can be found at Oliver’s.  With more and more demand for both vegan food and locally grown, organic food, we are seeing a shift towards a more sustainable future.  

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