Berlin is becoming increasingly vegan friendly, and in the summer of 2011, the city got its first vegan supermarket, Veganz. Now, having just celebrated their first anniversary, Veganz averages more than 400 customers every day, many of whom are regulars. Jan Bredack, founder and owner of Veganz, is already expanding the chain, proving how successful a vegan business can be. “Here the organic markets were born,” says Bredack. “In Berlin, many people come from every country in the world, so there is a great open multiculturalism, and many young people living in Berlin are more interested in the vegan lifestyle too. ”
The idea of opening a 100% vegan supermarket came about from Bredack’s own experience. After becoming a vegan for ethical reasons, Bredack found it very difficult to find vegan food. “I searched the world over for alternatives, and then I put together a range of vegan products. Now people can buy all of these products in our first vegan supermarket.”
In an area of 250 square meters, Veganz offers more than six thousand products. In addition to European options, Veganz carries many products from the US. According to Bredack, “The market in the US is far more advanced than in Europe. There is, therefore, a greater range of vegan products….[They] have a very good reputation all over the world. Many of our customers know and love these products.” Veganz also offers a wide range of organic products. Approximately 80% of their products are organic. They are working towards buying even more, since they have a huge demand for them. Veganz only carries products that are fairly traded. As Bredack explains, “This is our company philosophy — ecological, fair, sustainable!”
Veganz’ best sellers include their non-dairy ice cream and cheese, as well as their pizza. Their dog food is also a big seller because vegan dog food is difficult to find in smaller shops that sell vegan products. However, their best-selling item of all is a sausage substitute from Poland.
Veganz now offers a Sunday brunch next door to the supermarket. “We have an average of 70 people every Sunday to our brunch. That’s a lot, and we are very satisfied. Our brunch is 80% raw, and cooked by different chefs,” says Bredack.
Bredack is a very hands-on owner. It is not hard to meet him in a visit to the supermarket or at the Sunday brunch. Customers could even run into one of Bredack’s five children, who are always playing nearby. Asked by Global Looking Glass if his children are being raised vegan, he says that two of them are, but he gives them the choice of what they eat, “with the confidence that the vegan diet is the healthiest choice they could make.”
Exceeding their expectations from day one, Veganz is in the process of expanding. “I want to open a branch in the next three years in every major city in Europe,” says Bredack, leaving some mystery in the air.
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