Happy Birthday SCVegan.com!

One year ago, today I made that first official post to Santa Clarita’s vegan blog. For those first several months hardly any hits made their way to this site, but things eventually picked up; everything included I am averaging about 1,000 hits a month. It’s a nice start, don’t you think?

Through this blog I have made some great discoveries that I otherwise would have never known about. From great places to eat, events to attend, blogs to read, even other vegans are making themselves known in our valley. Thanks to everyone that reads this blog, and especially to those of you that have left comments and sent e-mails to me. Your kind words and helpful suggestions have been greatly appreciated and encouraging. Also, a big thanks to the businesses of Santa Clarita that are kind enough to cater to vegans and the select few that go above and beyond by offering vegan-labeled menu items. Without you, I would hardly have anything to write about. While I have to say that I still don’t know exactly how many vegans are in the SCV, it’s certainly a lot more than I expected; new names are showing up all the time!

Next year, we should have a proper birthday party with local vegan catering and entertainment. I even know where to get the birthday cake.

Tomato Joe’s – Vegan Pepperoni!!!

Tomato Joe’s, now offering vegan pepperoni as an option for their pizzas!

Tomato Joes: Large, Beer Crust--Garden Combo with Vegan Mozz and Vegan Pepperoni

Tomato Joe's: Large Garden Combo on Beer Crust with Vegan Mozz' and Vegan Pepperoni

The Garden Combo and Sally’s Secret Garden are both great pizzas to be made vegan, but if these are all you order then you are really missing out on some of their other delicious options. Ever had a Vegan Barbecue pizza?

Tomato Joes: Medium Barbecue Pizza on thin crust with red onions, mushrooms, cilantro and vegan mozz

Tomato Joe's: Medium Bar-B-Que Pizza on thin crust with red onions, mushrooms, cilantro and vegan mozz'. As you can see, I couldn't even get my camera out of the case before people started digging in.

This is an amazing combination; the barbecue sauce goes really well with the thin crust and selected toppings. If any of you have a favorite custom vegan pizza from Tomato Joe’s, snap a picture and send it my way or post it in the SCVegan forums under the Tomato Joe’s topic.

Grace & Mittie’s – Vegan Bakery in Newhall

A while back I came across a flier from a vegan baker located right here in Santa Clarita. The next day I tracked this bakery down; the day after that I was eating some yummy vegan cookies and cake. Grace & Mittie’s is not only a completely vegan bakery, but also everything is gluten-free while maintaining a high standard of quality by using wholesome ingredients.

Not a walk-in store, actually I haven’t even been to the location but the baker Taura was nice enough to deliver some goods for me to try.

I first tasted the Blueberry Cheesecake cookie; my initial reaction was, WOW! The German Chocolate Chip cookie, the Oatmeal Raisin & Cranberry — both delicious as well. Come on, vegan and gluten-free? YES! Everything on the menu, everything they bake is vegan and gluten-free. Not just cookies but pies, cobblers, brownies, truffles and of course cakes.

Speaking of cake, the one I tasted was pretty awesome.

So now the question is; where can we get them? Well, here’s the thing… It does look like you can order from their website, so that is one option. Remember this is a professional bakery and not a store front. While Grace & Mittie’s do distribute to some locations such as Native Foods in West Wood, none of these places are in Santa Clarita. At the very least I think Whole Foods — Valencia should carry vegan, gluten-free deserts from a local vegan and gluten-free baker. I will be sending requests to our local Whole Foods Market for Grace & Mittie’s deserts, and I think you guys should do the same. Helping Grace & Mittie’s not only helps a friendly, local vegan baker but it helps all other vegans in Santa Clarita along with those who have gluten sensitivities.

Until then, you can check out the Grace & Mittie’s website and place an order, or even give them a call. Taura is very friendly and you will not be disappointed by the desserts.