NEW YORK -- Meet Victoria Moran, the director of Main Street Vegan Academy, a small business that focuses on training the next generation of vegan coaches, educators, and entrepreneurs. "So many people have the idea that vegans are somehow different from them," says Moran. "When really, we are all kinds of people from all walks of life."
Moran went vegetarian at age 19 but it wasn't until she was in her thirties that she went vegan. "What's happening now is that is understood, people know the word, they can pronounce it," she says. "There are so many (vegan) food options available."
After releasing her book, Main Street Vegan in 2012, Moran used that concept to launch Main Street Vegan Academy, a program providing training that graduates can use in different ways. "We start with the history of the vegetarian movement," says Moran. "Then we talk about vegan principles, health, nutrition, animal issues, environmental issues, and then about how to communicate what the students learn to others," Moran adds.
As her classes grew, Moran needed to make sure that she and her business assets were protected. She turned to Hiscox Business Insurance. "I knew that when Main Street Vegan Academy happened, there was an entity - that it wasn't just me with a keyboard," says Moran. "I turned to Hiscox Business Insurance because they have wonderful customer service. They are actually people you can talk to," Moran adds.
The program's curriculum at Main Street Vegan Academy also teaches students about coaching techniques, public speaking, and business principles for those looking to launch their own vegan businesses. One Main Street Vegan Academy graduate is Michaela Grob, owner and manager of Riverdel, a dairy-free artisan cheese shop.
"I joined Main Street Vegan Academy before I opened Riverdel," says Grob. "I really wanted to connect with other vegans and immerse myself and I thought Main Street Vegan Academy was a great medium for it," Grob adds. Located inside Essex Market in Manhattan, Riverdel sells cheeses made from cashews, macadamias, tofu, hemp, and oat milk. "All the knowledge that I got from Main Street Vegan Academy was very helpful to educate customers about veganism and vegan cheeses," Grobs says.
"At Main Street Vegan Academy people come from all over North America and all over the world," Moran explains. "My job is to plant within them this wonderful spark of 'you can do this, you can work for this cause that you believe in, you can make it a business if you like, and you can change the world,'" Moran says.
Sponsored by Hiscox Business Insurance.