In recent months, plant-based, vegan fried chicken has become popular within the vegan community, but there are only a handful of places you can get your hands on it.
If you are new to the vegan lifestyle or just looking for plant-based alternatives to meat, or in this case fried chicken, then the Latina-owned pop-up, Eat Love is a place you’ll want to check out.
Created by Lynn Torres out of her home in Southern California, Eat Love is a vegan pop-up dedicated to providing foods like ice cream sandwiches and fried chicken in a bucket.
The idea for Eat Love was conceived out of a need to shift from a heavy-meat eating diet to a plant-based one after Torres’ husband was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2015. This diagnosis was particularly hard for Torres as the disease runs in her family and brought back painful memories of when her grandmother passed because of it.
“When my husband was diagnosed with it, I already knew it was a diet issue and that same day I decided that was the path we were going to go in,” Torres explained.
With her background in culinary school and being an extreme foodie, Torres began experimenting in her kitchen to create dishes that were familiar to her husband, making it easier to stick with the new lifestyle change.
Much to Torres’ surprise, non-vegan family and friends of theirs gave her vegan dishes a try, suggesting she starts a business and asking for advice on what they should eat.
Out of kindness and generosity, Torres prepped and created customized meal plans for her friends and family to enjoy. Even though most of her friends had not made the switch to a vegan lifestyle, she felt in doing this, she was making a positive impact in their lives.
“I never charged them because I wanted them to change and asked myself, how can I get them to eat more of my food,” Torres said.
To accomplish this goal, she focused on making dishes that brought nostalgia and boasted with flavor, leading to the creation of their famous vegan fried chicken.
After months of experimenting and receiving positive feedback, Torres was encouraged to create what is now widely known as Eat Love.
The name Eat Love was born from Torres’ belief to have more compassion towards animals, one’s health, and the environment
With the help of friends and family, Torres began receiving orders from people looking to get their hands on her food, especially her vegan fried chicken.
“I had done some [pop-ups] in the area and then it just sort of started building and people started buying our food from our friends and reaching out to us,” Torres said.
“That’s when I knew we had to make something permanent of this.”
This past August, Torres launched nationwide shipping so everyone can enjoy Eat Love’s fried chicken in the comfort of their own home. On November 22nd, Eat Love will open their first and highly anticipated brick-and-mortar becoming the first vegan fried chicken shop in the U.S.
“I don’t want any recognition. I don’t need it. I just want us to advance veganism and heal people ‘cause we need it as a community and to have access to this kind of food,” Torres said.