Atlanta

LA-based vegan bodega, LaRayia’s, comes to Ponce City Market – Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia 2021-12-01 17:56:37 –

Citrus anti-salad

Photo by LaRayia Gaston

The organic vegan grab and go spot will open on December 3rd at Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall. Lalaia’s BodegaA Caribbean-inspired shop that promotes philanthropy, it first opened in Los Angeles in 2019. Impressed by Atlanta’s diversity, founder Lalaigaston decided to make some changes to bring a healthy diet to the Old Fourth Ward.

Like the California spot, Atlanta offers nutritious, packaged meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, focusing on the Caribbean flavors inspired by the Puerto Rican heritage of Gaston. Unlike LA Bodega, the PCM location that replaces 18.21 Bitters is not subsidized by the company, so the item will cost more than $ 5. (Bodega was originally designed to combat the hunger of homeless people.) To maintain this spirit, LaRayia’s will offer free vegan food to homeless people in Woodruff Park on Friday.

Citrus anti-salad

Courtesy of Bodega from La Rayia

“Ponce City Market has different demographics than Westlake. Eventually, we’ll be able to use standalone Bodega elsewhere in Atlanta,” says Gaston. “Our goal here is to show people that nutritious foods can taste great.”

The menu changes daily, but may include overnight oats, parfaits, ceviche, Jamaican jerkjack fruit tacos, Puerto Rican mofongo, chili, corn bread, and collar. Of course, they are all vegan. Drinks include Black Girl Magic Lemonade made of activated charcoal, Desert Mermaid with Spirulina, and Moon Tea, a vegan spin of turquoise Thai tea.

“Atlanta took advantage of this vegan junk food movement,” says Gaston. “We are not. We focus from farm to table. Green is great. Organic is better.”

“We don’t use soy products,” she continues. “We are all natural, plant-based and super-nut-based. We want a healthier lifestyle.”

We talked to Gaston for more details.

Dessert mermaids drink a drink made of nuts, edible glitter, seaweed and oatmeal

Courtesy of Jamestown

Why did you choose Atlanta for your second La Rayia?
I believe in the signs. I intended to expand in New Jersey, but I felt that the universe was teaching Atlanta. In January, my business partner and I told him that he was driving in Los Angeles and thought that divinity was pointing to Atlanta. He grabbed his heart and said that living again was his dream place. (He lived there 10 years ago.)

How did you choose Ponce City Market?
I am a Puerto Rican. “Ponce” is based in Puerto Rico, where it is pronounced “Ponce”. I thought it was a sign. I’m Atlanta’s No. 1 spokesperson and fan. I love diversity. That is the best secret.I bought a place [to live part-time] I’m crazy about it, so here.

What is the purpose of making Bodega grab and go only?
It takes time to prepare all those fruits and vegetables. People want the food quality of a sitting restaurant with a time commitment to pick it up. It works in a lifestyle on the go, but doesn’t compromise integrity.

How do you make the space feel like a bodega?
The people in the store live in the Caribbean and own their heritage. There is Latin and black music, hip hop. You will feel like walking in my living room. We are a spiritual bodega, and mental and physical health is everything. We sell bracelets, crystals and incense.

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