When the beloved Satya magazine ended publication last July, its Managing Editor Kymberlie Adams Matthews decided to pursue her dreams of opening a vegan bakery and thus Vegan Honey Bake Shop (VHBS) was born. Vegan Honey offers a line of veganized Hostess favorites (called Fauxstess) and a plethora of other tasty treats including Black & White cookies, sticky buns the size of an infant’s head, chocolate candy cups, and bacon flavored cupcakes for your best furry friend.
Since its inception, VHBS has grown into a full swing operation complete with a real commercial kitchen in Long Island City staffed by family. Adams Matthews even has plans to open a retail location in the next year! In the meanwhile, folks will have to be content to get their Vegan Honey fix via post and at select cafes, including Brooklyn’s Tillie’s and Pumpkin’s Organic Market. (Natural groceries Lifethyme and Back to the Land will soon carry the treats as well.)
Do you think the NYC vegan community’s sweet tooth is big enough to accommodate new kid on the block Vegan Honey, what with the competition from sugar-slinging stalwart Vegan Treats, the ubiquitous goodies from Red Mango, and DC’s Sticky Fingers Bakery, which recently expanded its wholesale enterprise to the Big Apple?
We were lucky enough to try over a dozen of Vegan Honey Bake Shop’s offerings. Here’s what we thought:
Olivia: You know those commercials where women dressed in satin pajamas cuddle up in bed with a box of chocolates and moan in orgasmic ecstasy with each bite? I hate them. Is it really that exciting for women to eat a sweet? Are our diets that restrictive and our sex lives that empty? I often find myself screaming at the TV screen, “Get a vibrator already!” Now that I’ve tried Vegan Honey Bake Shop treats, I realize that the right sweet might actually bring you closer to God (if you know what I mean).
VHBS goodies are a divine statement on the limitless possibilities open to vegan bakers who are willing to playfully experiment and push their way out of the trendy vegan cupcake ghetto. (Not that I don’t love and appreciate a well crafted vegan cupcake.) My absolute favorites–the sweets I’m still fantasizing about two weeks later–are the Fauxstess Chocodyle, the Peanut Butter Cup, and the buttery Pecan Sticky Bun. The only thing I didn’t love was the Fauxstess Twinkey, for which VHBS has surprisingly won most acclaim.
Jason: Vegan Honey excels at those lovely sugar blobs that have somehow conned their way into the breakfast menu. Seriously the best cinnamon roll and danishes and bear-claw-thingy I’ve ever had (plus they’re much closer than Ronald’s). The peanut butter cup and apple turnover are also a kickass good time. I didn’t get to try the Black and White cookie, but I’m really glad she’s making those. Us NYC vegans miss ’em!
I agree with Olivia that the Twinkie imitation is a real let down. They get a lot of attention, I assume because the concept is exciting and they look pretty on the internet, but don’t bother. These Fauxstess logs are seriously hurting Vegan Honey’s reputation; what a shame that many people’s first impression is VH’s most underwhelming product! Load up on danishes instead. Yum yum yum.
Laura: I’ll be the dissenter and admit that I loved the vegan Twinkie. Devouring it brought back happy childhood memories; it’s fluffy and indulgent and melt-in-your-mouth heavenly.
Like everyone else, I adored the pecan sticky bun. Vegan Honey does it exactly right. The only item I wasn’t really into was the apple turnover, which has a greasy consistency that didn’t quite sit right with me. That’s a minor criticism, though; everything else was exceptional.