by Michael dEstries
Categories: Eats, Vegan, Vegetarian.

Attention plant-loving denizens of Phoenix, Arizona: You’re all lucky bastards.

Starting in early 2013, the 12,000 square-foot 100% plant-based VegCo Market will open in the heart of the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. According to New Times, the site will feature a grocery store, deli and bakery, a demonstration kitchen, a classroom and an indoor demonstration garden.

And just in case doubters remain, this really is a vegan Shangri-La:

“VegCo is an environment completely free of ALL animal products and derivatives,” their FAQ states. “We do not stock meat, seafood, dairy, eggs or honey. None of the items we sell contain any of these ingredients.”

So what do they offer?

“We sell an extensive assortment of plant-based foods, including a huge fresh produce section, whole grains and grain products (flours, breads, pastas, cereals, etc.), legumes, nuts, seeds, oils, sweeteners, spices, spreads, dips and sauces, snack foods, dairy alternatives, meat substitutes, and frozen foods. We also offer culinary equipment and a full- service deli and bakery.”

Awesome. The grocery-store portion will be membership-based, ala Sam’s Club or BJ’s, but founder Heather Francois (who was inspired by “Forks Over Knives” and “Earthlings” to create the supermarket) has an option for those that choose to forgo the $50 annual household fee.

“For those who prefer not to pay the membership fee, we will offer them the opportunity to volunteer a few hours with one of our local growers instead of paying,” she told New Times. “This is great for lower income families or those who simply wish to understand more about where their food comes from.”

Naturally, thanks to Arizona’s year-round growing season, VegCo will also source a large portion of the items its stocks from around the state. Individual packaging on most foods in the grocery section is prohibited (members bring their own bags) and all food waste is composted.

Here’s to hoping this awesome takes off and expands to other cities around the nation. People of Phoenix – make it happen!

To learn more about VegCo, visit their official page here.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Karina Usach

    Now lets get one in NYC!

  • Judith Fiore

    Yes! This is great news! I am sure a lot of non-vegans will shop there as well, but what a treat for vegans to finally have a place where one can shop and not be concerned about checking for eggs, whey, honey, etc., in the products. I am very hopeful this will take off (love that it’s modeled on Sam’s/Costco), and that here in Toronto we will soon have a 100% vegan store as well. Any investors interested in this????

  • Tan Truong

    Wow, just wonderful. Finally this is happening. I know more and more vegan markets will follow.