Raw Eatery and Market is one of the newest additions to the Kensington business scene and has been making a strong impression on not only the Vegans in town, but the skeptics as well.
Cochrane born Ali and Kelowna native Megan met while Megan was in school in Edmonton to become a nutritionist. They lived together before they ventured to Portugal with the volunteer program, Work Away where they worked under the head chef at an eco lodge. Here they were able to develop their culinary skills before venturing through the festivals of the Netherlands with The Dutch Weed Burger Food Truck – famously known as the creator of one of healthiest burgers on the planet. Following their time in Europe, the pair spent a year in Toronto planning before moving to Calgary to open Raw here in Kensington.
“Kensington was the first location we saw in-person and we loved it. We didn’t want to go anywhere else after seeing the space! We love the community, and collaborative nature of the businesses here – everyone is about supporting each other.”
They have now developed a staple menu made from local ingredients, with items changing seasonally depending on what ingredients are in surplus. Currently their most popular dish is the Broken Burrito, but Ali and Megan claim The Les & Peter as their favourite. It’s a chilled stuffed avocado with Thai quinoa, cranberries, and peas – served with sourdough toast. Their menu also features breakfast options, entrees, salads, along with fresh treats, drinks, and coffee from Blackbird Coffee. Customers will even have soups and root vegetables to look forward to in the winter months.
“Health was the main concern for us when we created the menu, and as a natural progression it became gluten free and vegan.”
In Calgary vegan tends to be slightly stigmatized, with a reputation that the food is also quite expensive. Megan and Ali are on a mission to provide delicious food, that’s healthy and guilt-free, at an affordable price to make it more accessible to everyone. So far their customer base has been responding, with a steady following and successful events like the monthly Bend and Brunch with Breanna Morandia.
When asked about their advice for other business owners in the area, they say it’s important to not be scared of the challenge.
“Don’t be afraid to meet the neighbours and embrace the collaboration potential in your area. Be open-minded and don’t limit yourself to your concept because new possibilities will always come up. Definitely be open to advice and ways to progress your business!”