Ottawa vegans are a-buzz about Erika’s Vegan Catering; now, we too have a rising star.
Erika’s Vegan Catering is the project of 16-year-old Erika LeBlanc, who is as straightforward and sensible as her aptly named business. A vegan of five years, and life-long vegetarian, Erika is no stranger to the vegan world and has already had years to perfect her craft. She launched her catering business several months ago, focusing on comfort foods and convenience – she even delivers! A portion of all sales support Westminster Pet Sanctuary, a registered charity that her family has run for nearly two decades.
Online reviews from patrons have been overwhelmingly positive. “I have found the best caterer ever! Erika’s and family from Erika’s Vegan Catering are the absolute best at customer service and most importantly she is the greatest chef ever. I have eaten all over the world at some of the best restaurants and I have never left so satisfied and happy as I did after experiencing this,” wrote one on the NCVA Facebook group.
We decided to learn a bit more about Erika.
PT: What is the concept behind Erika’s VeganCatering?
EL: I created my business mostly to educate people on veganism and to also to recreate classic meat dishes and make them vegan.
PT: How did your business come into being?
EL: Family and friends gave me the idea to start my own business, so I did.
PT: What are some of the biggest milestones you’ve experienced with your business?
EL: I would have to say my biggest milestone is converting meat eaters to vegetarian/vegan, just by educating and letting them try my food.
PT: Is cooking something in which you have had a longstanding interest?
EL: Yes, I’ve been cooking since I was very young and I’ve always wanted to be in the food business. It’s my passion.
EL: My most popular products would have to be the my lavender cupcakes and “egg” salad.
PT: How can people buy them from you?
People can simply go on my Facebook page (Erika’s Vegan Catering) and send me a message, or send me an email at Erikasvegancatering@mail.com and place their orders there, and I will be happy to deliver the food right to their door.
Although I’m only 16, I have a lot of dreams like attending a vegan culinary school in the United states in the year 2015. But for now, I’m working on my catering buisness and saving all the profits toward my tuition for culinary school.
Erika has some really exciting projects coming up, but can’t share the details yet. Stay tuned for more on this ambitious – and compassionate – young lady!