It’s the great American love story: Vegan boy meets vegan girl, vegan boy gets vegan girl, vegan boy and vegan girl move to Chicago and create line of vegan cheeses. Nahum and Laviyah St. Martin took a few simple ingredients and turned them into sliceable, meltable versions of Colby, Muenster, Smoked Gouda, Olive and Pepper Jack. I caught up with the veggie entrepreneurs and got the skinny on their story.
Roseann: Laviyah, you’re from Brooklyn—I am too—and Nahum’s from Jersey, which is where I met my husband. Do you think the Brooklyn-Jersey connection is the key to a happy vegan marriage? What led you to Chicago?
Laviyah: Ha! Nahum had a totally opposite upbringing than I did. I’m a Brooklyn girl through and through! I like city life. I like going out, museums, free concerts in the park, hole in the wall restaurants with amazing food—everything my home city is known for! However, having lived in both the city and the suburbs, I do appreciate peace, quiet and solitude. Nahum is the perfect balance to my personality. I’m a people watcher and kind of a loner; he’s a people person, always cooking up big meals and inviting friends over. There must be something to this Jersey-Brooklyn chemistry! I was a Brooklyn girl longing for life in the country, and he was a Jersey boy longing for life in the big city. Chicago isn’t as dense or as expensive as NYC; it’s a good mix of big city life with quick and easy access to the lakefront (I love water). It’s not a final destination for us, but it’s given us an excellent opportunity to build our business and our brand.
Roseann: What gave you the idea to create your own vegan cheese line? Continue Reading…