Did you know that Portland is home to a vegan cheese company? OK, it’s not that surprising in the vegan mecca, but it was missing!Â Heidi Ho Organics has made quite a name for itself since they debuted in 2010. You can find Heidi Ho’s hazelnut-based non-dairy cheeses at Food Fight!, People’s Co-op, variousÂ farmers markets, Jazzkat’s Coffee Bar, and as mentioned below, coming soon to Whole Foods.
Get to know Heidi herself, aka Heidi K. Lovig, in her interview:
Whatâ€™s the story behind your business name? Growing up, people called me Heidi Ho and would often sing the Cab Calloway song to me. When it came time to name our company it felt like a catchy name.
Whatâ€™s your favorite recipe to make with your product?
Chipotle Cheddar stuffed Chili RelleĂ±os
- What you will need:
- 4Â Anaheim chilies
- 8 ozÂ Â Â Vegan cream cheese
- 1Â cÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Onion, small diced
- 2 T Â Â Â Â Garlic, minced
- 1Â cÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Chipotle Cheddar, shredded
- Â˝Â cÂ Â Â Â Â Â Breadcrumbs
- 1 tspÂ Â Â Â Â Chili Powder
- 1 tspÂ Â Â Â Â Cumin
- 1 tspÂ Â Â Â Â Sea Salt
- Place fresh chilies on foil 3 inchesÂ under the broiler
- Turn until skin is blistered on all sides of all four chilies
- Allow to cool and peel off skins
- Cut a slit down the pepper to remove stems, seeds, and veins
- Turn oven to 350Â°
- SautĂ©e onion and garlic together; allow to cool
- Mix sautĂ©ed onion and garlic with vegan cream cheese
- Add breadcrumbs, cumin, chili powder, and salt
- Add Heidi Ho Organics Vegan Chipotle Cheddar
- Fill Chilies with mixture
- It is OK if the chilies are stuffed full and can’t close
- Place chilies on a lightly greased cookie sheet
- Bake for 20-30 minutesâ€“they should be sizzling hot!
- Serve with black beans and Spanish-style rice!
*To make this recipe Gluten-Free: Replace the breadcrumbs with Â˝ cup of brown rice*
Whereâ€™s your favorite vegan brunch in town? We are partial to a good brunch at Paradox
Which competitor is your money on? Morgan Grundstein-Helvey
What type of business is the Portland vegan community missing? I wish Portland had a vegan fondue restaurant (Vegan Iron Chef note: That is an amazing concept. We hope that’s a hint!)
Whatâ€™s in store for your company? Any new products or events? We have just received our first orders from the four main Whole Foods in Portland and will be filling those orders this week, which is exciting. We are looking to find a larger production and manufacturing facility that we are able to grow into. I just recently finalized the recipe for my Vegan Ricotta; it is hazelnut based and also contains soy. It will be a while until its release. We are also contemplating releasing an entirely plant-based nacho cheeze sauce. Then maybe we can bring on-demand nachos back to Food Fight!
Let’s get to know our next exhibitor, Lisa Clark, the gluten-free guru behind Petunia’s Pies and Pastries. Lisa will be hand-delivering treats for some of our lucky trivia winners as the doors open!
Whatâ€™s the story behind your business name? Ooh, love this question. No, my name is not Petunia, although it seems to be my baking superhero alter ego these days. Being super detail oriented and indecisive, I made myself sick lying awake at night thinking of names. I was running in Forest Park a year and a half ago, wracking my brain over what to call this new operation I was about to start up. I wanted something with meaning, giving a retro, homey feel that was cute and catchy, of course. I was also into the letter P at the time. It hit meâ€“growing up, my mom had a ceramic wall decoration above our kitchen stove, a pig head with little purple flowers on it. She was our kitchen mascot. Her name was Petunia the Pig. I remembered this little pig and wanted to also pay homage to my mom, who taught me to bake, so there it was, perfect!
Whatâ€™s your favorite recipe to make? Anything with peanut butter. Whether the Cowgirl Cookie dough or Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Cupcake, I would bathe in peanut butter if I could. Also, I absolutely love making pie dough and forming the pretty ridge around the edge. SO the Bumble Berry Pie is always a favorite.
Whereâ€™s your favorite vegan brunch in town? Blossoming Lotus kicks butt for brunch!
Which competitor is your money on? Morgan from Dovetail! Bakers rock! And, you go, girl!
What type of business is the Portland vegan community missing? An all-vegan ice cream shop! Otherwise, a vegan dessert haven that is also GLUTEN FREE! Open as a late-night hot spot, serving drinks, music, and fun for the most exciting and downright most scrumptious sweets in all the land. It may be called Petuniaâ€™s?!
Whatâ€™s in store for your company? Any new products or events? Petuniaâ€™s continues to grow through the PSU farmers market every Saturday (now doing fresh rotating special gf/v donuts every weekend, pecan gooey rolls, etc.), wholesale at more Whole Foods locations, coffee shops and cafĂ©s like Mississippi Pizza, Ruby Jewel, and Blossoming Lotus. Some potential new BIG accounts in the works (canâ€™t say yet). We will debut an entirely new wholesale menu this summer! More breakfast pastries, bars, cookies, cupcakes, and pies/tarts. Doing many special orders for events, parties, and weddings.
Weâ€™ve been getting more and more press and getting more involved in vegan and gluten-free local organizations and groups/events to build our clientele and gain exposure so that when we open our first retail bakery, there is a bit of buildup and anticipation and customers are ready to break the doors down! We plan to open our first space by the end of the year, or beginning of next year, most likely in NW Portland. It will be different than your average bakery, a bit more creative, inventive, fun, high-energy, and dynamic with rotating specials and a dessert bar feel, serving up drinks, fun, and the best desserts in town. We canâ€™t wait to blow up! Then itâ€™s every major city, cookbooks, and Food Network here we come!
Any suggestions for future secret ingredients? Hmmâ€¦peanut butter. For sure!
We’re thrilled to have the brand new, super vegan-friendly Brass Tacks Sandwiches tabling and sampling their housemade deli creations at our competition this year. To learn a little more, we asked their vegan mastermind, Misty, a few questions.
1. Whatâ€™s the story behind your business name? Getting down to Brass Tacks means getting down to basics. We wanted to open a shop that serves simple delicious food everyone can enjoy, and for us that means starting with great ingredients as a base. We focus on using the most responsible, local, organic products possible.
2. Whatâ€™s your favorite recipe? My favorite sandwich we make is called The Velveeta Underground. It features our housemade Smoky-Oat cashew cheese, agave-smoked “ham,” garlic aioli, Dijon, lettuce, and carmelized onions.
3. Whereâ€™s your favorite vegan brunch in town? The only vegan brunch I’ve had in Portland was at Blossoming Lotus, and it was pretty delicious!
4. Which competitor is your money on? Oh dear, that’s tough. I really love Dovetail Bakery, though, so I will have to go with Morgan.
5. What type of business is the Portland vegan community missing? I would love to see a vegan ice cream shop.
6. Whatâ€™s in store for your company? Any new products or events? Well, Brass Tacks just got started two weeks ago, so we have a lot in store for the future! Right now we have a brunch developed and plan to start service in early July. Get ready for homemade vegan quiche!
7. Any suggestions for future secret ingredients? Coconut could be fun.