Beanscene-mainmemeThe new Bean Scene Florida vegan market in Boynton Beach, held the first and third Thursdays of the month, began with a bowl of vegan chili.

“We had vegan chili cookoff in April in Lake Worth, and more than 700 people from all over showed up. We were amazed at the response, considering we put the entire event together in less than 30 days. So it got us thinking,” said Nina Kauder, a private chef specializing in vegan, vegetarian and plant-based dishes.

The lack of vegan choices in any market was frustrating her and fellow private chef Sarah Steinberg, a vegan since the age of 13.

She and Kauder would often commiserate while searching for foods to satisfy vegan clients. So after the success of the vegan chili cookoff, the chefs came up with the idea of a totally vegan market. The Bean Scene Florida was the result. Floating it past the vendors, the response was overwhelming.

“All the vendors who came (to the chili cookoff) said it was the best event they had done, including traditional green and farmers markets.  They said they felt marginalized at the other markets, while here, it was a totally different vibe,” Kauder said. “We’ve looked around at other cities – there’s nothing like it.”

Bean scene-openingSo they decided to create an all-vegan market.

Vegan refers to any foods or goods made without any animal source. Foods many would consider vegan, such as honey, are also not allowed as they remove food from a powerful link in the fresh food chain. The basic rule is “no food from anything with a mother.”

More than 20 vendors will set up for tonight’s Bean Scene, with products ranging from fresh organic vegetables, prepared and raw vegan snack foods, and more; vegan beauty products, and alternative healing booths.

“All the vendors are vetted to be sure they’re completely vegan. Some bakers, for instance, were using granulated cane sugar, and while it’s not animal-sourced, in its processing, some animal bones are used. All we did is make suggestions those bakers switch to Florida Crystals Sugar – which is a vegan cane sugar.”

Beanscene-waterRaw, and dehydrated snack foods, made-on-site juices, and clean kombucha will be available. “Our kombucha is special for chefs, because it’s unflavored – they can add whatever they choose to it. It also contains no additional carbonation – it’s all natural,” she said.

Those on eating a Paleo diet – all “clean” foods with no processing, fresh vegetables, and limited grains at the forefront – will find plenty to eat here, Kauder said. “They may shop for their lean meats elsewhere, but we can easily fill the rest of their plates.”

Allergy-prone diners also can find foods to help, she said, since most vegan foods are gluten-free and all are by definition dairy-free.

Along with the food booths are activities at each market, including yoga, live music, and a special dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. inside the neighboring Secret Garden Cafe. “This week it’s Italian. We’ve had Asian, New Orleans – a little of everything,” she said. Diners are encouraged to sign up early as it’s usually a sell-out.

“This market is showing people they can eat food that is delicious, creative and satisfying without resorting to animal sources. It’s ‘no apology food.'”

The Bean Scene Florida

  • 410 E. Boynton Beach Blvd., Boynton Beach
  • 561-877-1411; [email protected]
  • Market is 4-8 p.m., first and third Thursdays of the month.