We had the good fortune of connecting with Adele Ledet and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adele, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting Creole Vegan was initially to share allergen-free, vegan and Creole inspired recipes through my own published cookbook. When I visited with a printing company for price quotes, the manager recommended that I create a buzz by setting up a food table at a popular event in Atlanta; being new to the culinary industry, I was unaware of the requirements needed to become a food vendor. I really wanted to share this new way to eat plant-based, so I started researching other venues that were more lenient to new vendors and that’s how Creole Vegan started as a catering/personal chef business. To date, I have built over 50 recipes, 3 vegan products including spices, sauce and breadcrumbs, community education programs for healthy meal plans, 3 annual Masquerade dinners and launched a grand opening restaurant on March 13.
What should our readers know about your business?
I have been on a journey to Vegan since 1996 when I decided as a teenager to fast from eating meat. I discovered as a young adult my intolerances to dairy and gluten, so on a personal level I have educated myself on nutrition and how to be disciplined by eating to live versus self gratification through eating Becoming a new mom in 2010 brought challenges as my child also had food allergies: gluten, shellfish, sesame seed and walnut. I incorporate allergen free flours in my family’s meals and incorporate this into the menu at Creole Vegan. I know what it feels like to have limited choices at restaurants because they do not have an allergy friendly menu. I believe that having an allergy friendly menu that is plant based yet still has the flavors of New Orleans style Creole cuisine is what makes us unique. While we have faced some challenges, I believe that being transparent is the only way we can learn from one another as a community and I am always willing to help. I am very excited about our collaboration with D’s Cafe. We had our restaurant grand opening on March 13, and are open every Saturday, 5pm-9pm at 1552 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., Atlanta.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting I would take her on a Vegan food extravaganza!!! Atlanta has so many options now compared to when I was studying at Clark Atlanta University in the 90’s. Since we live in Stone Mountain, we can order lunch from Green Love Cafe, eat outside on their patio and visit Black Dot Cultural Center bookstore next door. The next day we will go to the West End/West View area. She can choose from Soul food from Healthful Essence, a Sea Moss smoothie from Wadada or a kale wrap from Tassilli’s Raw Reality. If she still has an appetite for dinner, we can get takeout from Soul Vegetarian or pizza from Bakari’s. The next day I would take her to one of the coolest hang out spots which is Ponce City Market. She can choose from the many food hall options and we can hang out on the roof for a spectacular view of the city and have fun playing games and jamming to the music. On her last day I would have to take her to Vegreen. Their menu is large and there are so many yummy Asian inspired dishes.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am so thankful for my husband who has supported me on all levels of inspiration, investment and man power. My parents who have always given me honest feedback and have also supported my events and even worked at some of them. My parents actually inspired my Vegan Gumbo and continue to inspire me in building recipes that I enjoyed eating as a child. My sister Denise who holds down the fort and jumps in when she can with prepping seasonings, watching our three children or even serving at some events. My sister Michelle who has mentored me and help to get my legalities in order. Also my nieces and nephew and best friend Chantel and Ms. Jackie, they have traveled from out of state a few times to help me prepare for my annual masquerade dinner and other events. The owners of Vangin’ Official, The Veggie Taste, Beaute by Bri, Avantgarden ATL, House of Suna, Brian Hadden and Tonesha Smith, my food/event photographers, The Real Fashion Taxi, Zen Zulu Tea ceremony, Ollie the Goddess, Ifini Sheppard, The Happy Vegan Coach, Kyna Lee of Elite Events photobooth, Afr Letics and so many other local small business owners. They have kept me in the loop, encouraged me, marketed my events and even volunteered at some of my events. Shoutout to Ms. D of Ds Cafe who is collaborating with us for our restaurant Grand opening. It truly takes a village. I am so blessed.
The owners of Vangin’ Official, Honeysuckle Moon Self care Spa, The Veggie Taste, Beaute by Bri, Avantgarden ATL, House of Suna, Brian Hadden and Tonesha Smith, my food/event photographers, The Real Fashion Taxi, Zen Zulu Tea ceremony, Ollie the Goddess, Ifini Sheppard, The Happy Vegan Coach, Kyna Lee of Elite Events photobooth, Afr Letics and so many other local small business owners. They have kept me in the loop, encouraged me, marketed my events and even volunteered at some of my events. Shoutout to Ms. D of Ds Cafe who is collaborating with us for our restaurant Grand opening. It truly takes a village. I am so blessed.
Brain Hadden Tonesha Smith Photography