Small Business Spotlight: Philly’s Vegan Commissary
Philly is an amazing city. We are constantly provided with inspirational and motivational stories. Each one of these unique stories helps us to maintain our positive outlook and determined drive. We recently got a very strong dose of inspiration from owner of Vegan Commissary, Steve Laurence and his dedicated staff.
After graduating from The Restaurant School in 1978, Steve Laurence entered the health food scene as a result of an unlikely and unfortunate source of inspiration. His father was diagnosed with colon cancer and, as part of his treatment, began eating a macrobiotic diet. Laurence began preparing his father’s meals and learning more and more about the infinite benefits of proper nutrition as he witnessed the impact it had on his father’s quality of life. He began to realize just how much this health-focused cuisine could help people and it quickly became his new passion.
Laurence launched himself head first into the health food scene. He began by managing a small store in Willow Grove, learning as much as he could and meeting other health conscious individuals. Eventually, he began to see the need for a reasonably priced, vegan restaurant where people could eat regularly in Philadelphia. In December of 2013, the doors to Vegan Commissary opened and Laurence got to work.
This restaurant truly has its own style and way of doing business. They serve up an ever-changing menu of vegan comfort food that has the potential to impress even the most stubborn carnivores out there. Laurence is dedicated to treating his staff with respect and gratitude, providing them with a respectable hourly wage, paid time off and a healthy work environment. The Vegan Commissary staff gratefully pays back this gesture by taking personal responsibility for the success of the business, working hard and expressing their culinary talents to their utmost abilities. All of these efforts result in a perfect customer experience and the VC staff expressed deep appreciation for everyone who supports them by frequenting the restaurant.
Laurence and his staff know no limits when it comes to day-to-day operations. For many staff members, the work day begins at 5 AM with deliveries of baked goods and specialty items to coffee shops, restaurants and markets all over Philly. By 7 AM, Pastry Chef Meagan Benz is already in the kitchen churning out desserts. Chefs Damian Patterson Jr. and Matt Evans arrive at 8 AM to start prepping for the morning rush. The vegan Commissary staff busies itself, serving lunch, brunch and dinner, catering events, whipping up orders for delivery and constantly developing new menu items. It is more than clear that that Vegan Commissary puts a lot of effort into pleasing their guests! When we asked Laurence what he did with his free time, he simply said, “sleep!”
It did not surprise us that Philly’s Vegan Commissary want to expand their operation big time. In fact, we would expect nothing less from this hardworking crew! They are currently looking for ways to expand their wholesale operation and looking for some commercial space to do so. They also want to keep serving the Philadelphia community in any way that they can. They strive to stay plugged in with the East Passyunk neighborhood and partner up with charitable organizations as often as possible. Most of all, they want to keep serving up quality, vegan meals and providing access to healthy and delicious fare. You better bet we’ll be there enjoying what they cook up!