Thanks­giv­ing with just the trim­mings

Veg Strat­ford host­ing plant-based ve­gan potluck at The Lo­cal


Look­ing for a turkey-free Thanks­giv­ing meal op­tion this week­end?

Head to Erie and Jarvis streets in Strat­ford Satur­day night. A com­mu­nity group called Veg Strat­ford is host­ing a plant-based ve­gan potluck at The Lo­cal Com­mu­nity Food Cen­tre.

Event spokesper­son Cody Sebben said over 50 peo­ple showed up to potlucks in Jan­uary and April, but this is their first Thanks­giv­ing ver­sion.

“Some peo­ple are busy, but some peo­ple are – if you’re eat­ing a plant-based diet you’re look­ing for some­thing like this,” he said. Doors open at 6 p.m. Ad­mis­sion is free, but do­na­tions will be ac­cepted for The Lo­cal and to spon­sor a turkey at Cedar Row Farm Sanc­tu­ary near St. Marys.

A few words will be said at 6:30 p.m. fol­lowed by the food; it ends around 8:30 p.m. A prize is up for grabs through a vote for the most pop­u­lar dish.

Satur­day’s event is open to every­one, not just veg­e­tar­i­ans and ve­g­ans.

“Any­body who’s also just look­ing to see what kind of food’s out there or if they’re just try­ing to eat a lit­tle less meat or milk or eggs,” Sebben said. “We wel­come any­body.”

One of the in­trigu­ing as­pects for par­tic­i­pants is learn­ing new recipes.

“Ev­ery time we have one we’re blown away by the se­lec­tion and the food. Ev­ery­body tries a lit­tle harder to win the prize,” he said. “No­body leaves hun­gry.”

Sebben and wife Caitlin Beaudry – the pair cam­paigned to ban the sale of live lob­sters in the city three years ago – launched a Face­book page called Veg Strat­ford (face­ veg­strat­ford) in an ef­fort to meet lo­cal like-minded peo­ple.

“We didn’t feel like there was a big com­mu­nity. You kind of feel like you’re the only veg­e­tar­ian or ve­gan types around,” said Sebben, who grew up in Strat­ford. “We started hav­ing potlucks in Novem­ber last year and the page has grown to about 350 peo­ple al­ready. We’ve started a lit­tle com­mu­nity and we’re re­ally happy with the way things are go­ing.”

Last fall they hosted the first plant-based potluck at their house. Twenty-five peo­ple showed up.

“We were blown away, more than we ex­pected, so we looked for a big­ger venue,” he said.

This is their third potluck at The Lo­cal. The two pre­vi­ous gath­er­ings fea­tured a lo­cal mu­si­cian per­form­ing.

“But this one we’re just try­ing to keep it a lit­tle sim­ple,” he said.


The Lo­cal Com­mu­nity Food Cen­tre is host­ing a ve­gan potluck Satur­day from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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