Cristian, Cal Vegànic - Carrer de Llull, 141, 08005, Barcelona
When you enter the shop you will see Christian giving it his all. It’s 11.30 and the flow of people is continuous. They are mostly residents of the neighborhood, but also customers who come from all around Barcelona and to load up their cars with their purchases for the week. We do not want to take the Christian from his customers, but we want to know the secret of success of this store with vegan products illuminated by beautiful sunlight that comes through the window from the street. The store is carefully decorated and besides food products we can also find books about veganism, ‘vegan’ art and cloth bags. Everything you want is here, there are thousands options!
Christian knows his clients by name and knows what they are looking for, sometimes he offers them a cafe con leche, with rice ‘milk’, of course.
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What is your story? Why did you open Cal Veganic?
24 years ago I became vegan. My old job specialised in gardening and I worked there for 18 years, but when the crisis came I was left without work, then in the more recent years I worked for Amnesty International training people in Human Rights. But after a few years I decided to dedicate myself to what I know most, which is Veganism, and I opened Cal Veganic which has been going for two and a half years.
What can we find in the store?
The best burger in the world, which is of the brand Beyond Meat, I am the first store in Spain that sells it! I fought hard and they finally sent me a box! I really pushed for it!
Sausages, “carne” and “pescado” of all kinds, chorizo, cheese, bacon, squid, tuna.
Many people who enter veganism seek flavors of non-vegan foods such as chorizo or fish.
What would you bring from the store to impress someone?
The Faux Gras (a play of words for this fake foie gras) that obviously is not made from liver, but from vegetables. A sobrasada that never fails and bacon, to make that junk food that we all love: bacon and cheese bites.
What is your favorite dish?
I am crunching! It eat vegetables that are not cooked, or if they are, at a temperature below 42 degrees. My diet is based on superfoods, seeds, nuts, berries, vegetables, fruit, greens and it’s already.
Why did you open in Poblenou?
I did market research for 1 year all over Barcelona, I kicked it all and I saw that here in Poblenou there was no specialised vegan store. I am happy with the sea and because now many people know me.
What do you like most about your work?
Veganise! I have introduced many people to the vegan diet and I am very proud. Here we advise and advise, even so we always recommend talking to a nutritionist. People ask a lot, it’s the part of my work that I like the most. People come up with a preconceived idea about the vegan diet and when they talk to us they see it easier than they think. We also have a nutritionist, we do cooking courses, therapies, talks. We are a meeting point and the spread the word of veganism, we do what comes and vibrates with the atmosphere.
Any establishment that we recommend for Poblenou?
The Aguaribay restaurant, which has a vegan and vegetarian option and the vegetarian Lekka restaurant, whose chef is Lebanese, the restaurant is sustainable with a Zero Waste philosophy.
Any book that you want to recommend?
Any of these are good introductions:
- Vive vegano, de Jenny Rodriguez
- Distrito vegano, de Pedro Donoso
- Cocina vegana casera, Zaraiza Fernandez