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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Milwaukee pop-up market promotes vegan lifestyle

Photo by Phoebe Goebel
Vegan fest featured food vendors, merchants and non-profit organizations.

Veganism, a term that was coined back in 1944, is a diet-based lifestyle that involves completely cutting out animal-based products from someone’s diet. As the vegan movement has continued to develop and become more popular over the past couple of years, the vegan market has significantly expanded and is expected to be worth $24.06 billion by 2025.

Madison Vegan Pop-Up, Wisconsin’s first all-vegan pop-up market, hosted an event April 30 in Milwaukee. The market took place at the Historic Pabst Brewery and was an opportunity for Milwaukee residents to explore different vegan food vendors, as well as various merchants and nonprofit organizations.

Bunny’s Bite, an all-vegan and gluten-free bakery, had their own table at the event. By the last hour of the market, they were almost all out of inventory with only a couple of cookies to sell.

Madeline Ruyle, the owner of Bunny’s Bite, originally started a vegan food blog when her and her boyfriend started following a vegan diet. After the blog became popular, she was invited to her first food festival in 2018 and has been selling her desserts and attending festivals ever since.

Ruyle specializes in anything from banana bread to cheesecakes and pies to cookies. She said that even though her products are allergy-friendly and animal product free, she still makes sure that she is not risking the taste.

“It’s all vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and mostly organic. It’s super tasty and I try to make things as allergy friendly as possible but still very delicious. You can’t notice the missing ingredients that most baked goods have,” Ruyle said.

Bunny’s Bite products are now being sold across Marquette’s campus at Brew Locations and The Tory Hill Cafe. Ruyle said that she had been wanting to be involved with a college campus for a while and her opportunity to work with Marquette came at the perfect time.

“Melanie Vainess, who is the general manager of dining services at Marquette actually reached out to me,” Ruyle said. “It’s really funny because I have been thinking for so long that I need to be at Marquette. I knew it would be a great fit and because I am so allergy friendly, it all went from there.”

A couple of tables down from Bunny’s Bite was Dane4Dogs, a nonprofit organization that aspires to end the breeding, sale and use of dogs and cats for painful and distressing experimentation. The organization had a table at the event to encourage donations and volunteers, which paired perfectly with the vegan theme of the event.

Lawrence Cuneaz, a board member of Dane4Dogs, originally started as a volunteer when the organization started.

“We are about shutting research puppy mills down and letting the world know that we exist. We have passed legislation in different counties and legislatures come to us to learn how we’ve done it,” Cuneaz said.

Cuneaz said that in terms of the future, they are hoping to spread their message across Wisconsin and even throughout the country. Through tabling at a place like the vegan market, Cuneaz said more people who are passionate about animal abuse can become aware of the cause.

“We are trying to meet as many contacts from different areas as possible,” Cuneaz said. “This is a bipartisan issue so it affects everyone so we are looking for possible legislation from Dane County. It is all about making people aware of who we are and what we do.”

Along with the food vendors and non-profit tables, there were also multiple merchants who were selling their products to market-goers. Kat Klawes, a student in the Marquette Education Policy program, owns an organization called Gloss Moss which sells plants and other items to support Survivors Shoulders,  an organization that supports survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“This was all started by me and now we have a group of women who grow moss, fundraise, and help gather materials for people who need housing and living. Last year we raised $5,000 to help women and children into homes,” Klawes said.

Klawes said that her education at Marquette has really helped her in owning and operating her own business. Like other small businesses at the vegan market, Klawes said that inspiration has continued to drive her in her business, especially with the knowledge that she is bringing good to the world.

“Before I was a student at Marquette I took part of the summer boost program,” Klawes said. “I was really fortunate to learn from a lot of small businesses and I was inspired during the pandemic to start my own business and use it for good.”

This story was written by Phoebe Goebel. She can reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Phoebe Goebel, Editor of Diversity and Inclusion
Phoebe is the Editor of Diversity and Inclusion at the Wire. She is a junior from Hinsdale, IL studying journalism. In her free time, Phoebe enjoys thrifting and can solve a Rubik's cube in less than one minute. This year Phoebe is looking forward to covering a different section at the Wire.

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