Get ready for your first bite of a smoked chargrilled carrot hot dog.
Kate Jones, the market program manager who is organising the first Newcastle Vegan Market, says the supplier of those carrot hot dogs and many more vegan vendors will soon be offering their goods here.
The first Newcastle Vegan Market is Sunday, August 4, from 9am to 4pm at The Station in Newcastle East. The Station, on the corner of Watt and Scott streets, is the former Newcastle train station, currently managed by the Hunter & Central Coast Development Corporation.
Mac and cheese. Ravioli. Peanut butter. Cheese. And lots more.
" What I want is non-vegans to come and see veganism is accessible," Jones says. "If I get people to come, and eat vegan one day a month, I celebrate that . . . if those 15,000 people eat vegan just once a month, that's massive."
While August 4 marks the beginning of the planned bi-monthly Newcastle Vegan Market, the event has been in the planning stages for several months by Vegan NSW, which also created the Sydney Vegan Market.
The Sydney Vegan Market had a modest beginning in November 2017, first launching at the Portugal Community Club in Sydenham.
It has evolved to a monthly market (the third Sunday of the month), and since August 2018 has been held at the Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park in Sydney's eastern suburbs.
The Sydney market runs about 130 stalls and draws 15,000 visitors, Jones says.
"It feels really exciting to take what we have created in Sydney and take it to other regions," Jones says.
"With a framework we have developed, we want to give it to locals and help and support them to create one for themselves. We will prioritise locals, but bring in Sydney stallholders."
Jones says the organisation has held interviews for a locally-based coordinator and will be giving priority to local vendors for stalls at the markets.
At this point, plans call for all vendors to operate on a vegan-only busienss model (as is, all of their food business is vegan-based).
"Whilst it is important to celebrate non-vegan stallholders for having vegan options, we want to support vegan businesses," Jones says. "It's hard, very hard."
There are a two other fun components that will be part of the Newcastle Vegan Market: entertainment and dogs.
At the Sydney Vegan Market featured performers include the likes of folk singers, pole dancers and techno deejays. Newcastle can expect the same, Jones says.
"We definitely have a vibe," she says. "We are known for a vibe."
As for dogs, allowing dogs was a non-negotiable consideration, Jones says.
"It's a question in our venue investigation," she says. "We won't go to a venue where dogs are not allowed."
The Sydney Vegan Market even has an instagram page (dogsofsvm). "We know vegans love dogs. We love animals," Jones says.
"They must be on leads. It's built into our risk management plan. Dogs are calmer. They're not aggressive."
As for the chargrilled carrot hot dog, the creator, Samuel Currie of Red Dogg Kitchen, says he will not be able to attend the first Newcastle Vegan Market because of a prior commitment, but he's already booked for the second one (October 6).
The Central Coast-based Currie already has a stall at the Central Coast Market.
His says his carrot dog "has a sweetness to it that meat doesn't have" and "has all the flavours that makes meat taste so good".
His carrots are softened in a salty brine, then smoked for five days over pecan wood, then marinated in a sauce with 16 spices. On market day they are chargrilled over an Australian hardwood fire.
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