Angela Yvonne is a vegan media entrepreneur and is the founder, host, and producer of Vegan Pop Eats (VPE), where she acts as your “Vegan Concierge to the Greenside” through showcasing the hottest vegan trends and spaces, as well as holding space for individuals to be seen and heard as they share their vegan journeys. If you want to know what to drink, what to do, and what’s poppin’ in the plant-based sphere, check with Angela & VPE!
Watch this Interview!
Shabnam and Angela met at Vegan Women Summit, where Angela was leading a panel discussion on “The Climate Generation: How Gen Z Will Save The World”. Angela shares about the journey that led her to stand on such a stage and it all began with one burning question, “How can I be an asset?”
Observing the vegan influencers she admired, she noticed a simple way they all shared the vegan message: on Instagram LIVE. Confident she could also hit the “Go Live” button, she started VPE during the pandemic in order to “be an asset” to the vegan movement. It wasn’t long before she had a lineup of plant-based influencers who were happy to have Angela showcase their journeys.
Angela says, “I love talking to people and I LOVE showing people how dope it is over on ‘The Greenside’”, as she refers to the vegan lifestyle.
The opportunity to moderate the Vegan Women Summit panel came as a surprise (and delight) to Angela because in her mind, she hadn’t considered it; she was simply grateful to volunteer and “be an asset”. When the founder Jennifer Stojkovik, asked her to moderate on a big stage, she nearly fell off her stairmaster.
Angela’s journey showcases how attitudes of gratitude and joyful service have the power to magnetize aligned opportunities for taking your passion-based concepts to the next level.
Before VPE, Angela was a successful publicist for luxury lifestyle brands. Obsessed with pop culture for as long as she could remember, and recognizing that she had a natural talent for working as an on-camera personality, she sought a degree in Public Relations & Broadcasting.
While establishing her career, Angela’s mother received a breast cancer diagnosis, which initiated her journey to veganism. During her search to find ways of supporting her mothers healing, she made the connection to diet and health. Her own common sense persistently echoed to her, “It HAS to be the food.”
Growing up in North Carolina, the traditional Southern and Caribbean fare of her community had a heavy focus on meats and other dishes containing animal-based ingredients. Her research on the diet-health connection explored topics such as juicing fruits and vegetables, the nutritional benefits of whole foods for healing and of course, the vegan diet and lifestyle.
Her mother’s untimely passing forced Angela to face questions pertaining to her own mortality such as, “What DO I want to do with my life?” as well as help her get clear that if she wanted to remain healthy and aligned with her own compassionate values, she would need to take a permanent vacation to the Greenside with a vegan diet and lifestyle.
Around this time in 2016, she only knew two things for certain when it came to Career:
- She wanted to be on camera.
- She wanted to get paid well for doing it.
She also knew she couldn’t achieve her ambitions in the time she wanted unless she took the road less traveled, so she leveraged her own self-knowledge to intentionally seek opportunities to “be an asset” to those who were doing the things she saw herself doing.
This strategy paid off in the form of an exciting job that afforded Angela opportunities to travel, be on camera, and connect with influential people while maintaining a New York address. She started conducting virtual interviews with celebrities over Zoom pre-pandemic and was eventually allowed to produce segments pertaining to plant-based living.
During the pandemic, she discovered a natural way to parlay her dual passions for pop culture and the vegan lifestyle along with her education and experience into creating Vegan Pop Eats. Angela dug deep, did the research, found a gap in the plant-based scene, and put all of her assets into filling it by making VPE an asset to influential people and brands within the vegan movement.
VPE now has over 100 interviews (and counting!) for you to binge-watch on their YouTube channel. Like, subscribe, and get notified here: https://www.youtube.com/c/veganpopeats
When Shabnam asked Angela to share more about the mission-driven nature of VPE, she shared that during the height of the COVID pandemic, she observed the collective fear everyone faced as conspiracy theories about its origins were running rampant. Her experiences had also taught her that “health is our biggest currency” and that poor health is a catalyst for everything else unraveling in one’s life.
Part of VPE’s mission is to create a space where everyone is welcome to embrace the health and abundance of the plant-based lifestyle regardless of how much or little they choose to live on the Greenside. Angela says, “I don’t care how you get here as long as you get here.”
She wants everyone to see, through the work of VPE, just how easy it is to experience ALL of the finer things in life, without causing any harm to your health, the planet, or the animals. Her hope is to be the blueprint she didn’t have that will empower others to go straight to the VIP section of the vegan scene by knowing all the spaces and places where it feels ethically safe to live luxuriously.
Shabnam asked Angela about some of the riveting interviews she’s conducted, specifically her interview with Dr. Aris Lathan, who is regarded as the father of Ethical Gourmet Raw Food Cuisine by the Oxford Encyclopedia.
Angela shares her experience with Dr. Latham created a profound mindset shift within her and helped galvanize her mission to share the universal awareness that your health and wellness is your most fundamental currency in life, and that it must never be sold off to commercialism or pressure from a certain community.
The mission is driven further by the fact that a plant-based lifestyle does not have to be difficult or expensive. It can be surprisingly easy and budget-friendly, depending on how you roll, and Vegan Pop Eats is all about helping you find the most fun way that works with your life.
Angela emphasizes, “Nothing is hard if you really want to do it.”
Dr. Islam asked Angela how her life has changed through building Vegan Pop Eats. She shared that it’s allowed her to do all of the things she’s ever wanted to do professionally but most importantly, it has allowed her experience a deep satisfaction arising from the knowledge that the good work being done through VPE is making her ancestors proud by not wasting the opportunities their sacrifices have afforded her.
VPE makes Angela feel as though she has “arrived” because it has empowered her to show up authentically and feel celebrated for all of who she is as an individual and a pioneer within the plant-based sphere. Angela feels it’s her purpose to help other people better their lives and “level-up”; VPE has been a fun and elegant way for her to fulfill it.
Shabnam segues into a discussion about the challenges the BIPOC community faces in moving towards a vegan diet and lifestyle. Angela remarks she wishes her community wasn’t so stubborn about their traditional meals, most of which were given to their ancestors by colonizers.
The true culinary roots of BIPOC cultures are plant-based, with animal meats being eaten only during special occasions or rites of passage. One of VPE’s main goals is to help the BIPOC community find ways to celebrate cherished traditions over the exact same foods and flavors in a way that doesn’t cause harm to your health, the planet, or animals.
Shabnam inquires about the secret to Angelas success. She credits her individuality, tenaciousness, and desire to give back then says, “I’m successful because I started, not because I won a bunch of awards.” They go on to discuss Angela’s future vision for Vegan Pop Eats becoming a full lifestyle brand before concluding with her top recommendations for exceptional vegan living including:
Best Pizza Slice: Double Zero @doublezeromk
Best Chocolate: Casse-Cou Chocolate @cassecouchocolate
Vegan Soul Food:
Compton Vegan @comptonvegan
Best Vegan Breakfast Sandwich: Terms of Endearment @termsofendearmentbk
Best Vegan Dessert: Urban Dessert Lab @urbandessertlab
Best Vegan Beauty Brands:
The Lip Bar @thelipbar
Beauty Bakerie @beautybakeriemakeup
Pholk Beauty @pholkbeauty
🐰If It’s Vegan, It’s On VKind!