Columbus VegFest 2018

Location: Whetstone Community Center, 3923 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43214

It was a dreary day. During my visit, it rained buckets. The good thing is many of the vendors are inside; so, there was a lot to experience, dry.

There was a tent set up outside where educational talks were given. I’m sure they were very informative; but, by the time I was ready to sit down for a presentation, there was a break in the rain; so, I left.

Neche Mayo, the Vegan Donut Company at Columbus VegFest 2018
Neche Mayo, the Vegan Donut Company at Columbus VegFest 2018

What does a Vegan donut consist of? Different flavors?

Basically, it is plant based. No animals are harmed. If you are Vegan, there are no eggs and no dairy. It is basically fruits. It is still a yeast raised donut. It is not gluten free. Everything you see here is all natural including the sprinkles (no artificial coloring).

Can you use sugar?

Yes. Organic cane sugar.

What are your different flavors?

We have bomb pop which is lemon icing with sprinkles, s’more, strawberry shortcake, raspberry with sprinkles, cookies and cream, and glazed twist.

I assume these are good.

Yes, we came all the way from Cleveland and our line of people was all the way back. 

Sidebar: I tried the donut, and it was good. 

Mike of Smash Bowl at Columbus VegFest 2018
Mike of Smash Bowl at Columbus VegFest 2018

This business started with our love for martial arts and Brazilian jiu-jisu. All our products come from the Amazons of Brazil. We are 100% dairy free. There are no animal products in anything that we sell. We don’t even use honey. It is considered animal products by many vegans. No milk and no dairy.

Smashbowl. What is it?

Acai is a berry that grows on the palm trees in Brazil. They make the berry into a puree. We make it into a sorbet and add toppings such as granola, and agave. It is super rich in antioxidants. It’s a lot of super foods packed in one bowl.

Junita Lapp of Lapp it up, at Columbus VegFest 2018
Junita Lapp of Lapp it up, at Columbus VegFest 2018

Kombucha is a fermented tea. It has probiotics in it; live bacteria, organic acids. It is made from sweet tea. I use black and green tea and organic sugar. We add a live culture to it and let it ferment for about three weeks. The culture has yeast and bacteria that live in harmony. The live culture eats all the sugar and it turns into probiotics; amino acids, organic acids. It helps your digestive system. After the initial fermentation, I put it in a second fermentation with the fruits and the berries and whatever I choose to flavor it for another week. Then, we bottle it and it goes out to the stores. 

What are the benefits?

It is like a detoxer.  After drinking the tea, I have heard that people have been cleansed out thoroughly. 

Do all the flavors have the same benefits?

They all have common benefits. The lemon ginger is awesome for your stomach. The same with the blueberry cardamom.  The blackberry blossom has some flowers like red clover and elder flower in it that are awesome for the immune system. It is good to use in the winter time if you have a cold or feeling sick.

Is this a vegan product?

Yes. It is vegan and gluten free, very low in sugar. It is good for your stomach and has all the digestive aids.


I tried the lemon ginger. It was pretty good.

Gary Whelpdale of Whelpdale Chocolates at Columbus VegFest 2018
Gary Whelpdale of Whelpdale Chocolates at Columbus VegFest 2018

Is this Vegan Chocolate?

Yes. We are a 100% bean to bar company.

What is your claim to fame?

We take pride in using no animal products.  We use cruelty free products as much as possible and ethically sourced like a cow from sustainable cooperatives.

What are your flavors?

White chocolate, Raspberry White Chocolate, Peppermint white chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate (72% Columbian Cacao), Dark Chocolate (71% Belizean Cacao). Caffe Mocha Mile Chocolate, Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt White Chocolate, Mint Julep (Milk Chocolate), and Bourbon Dark Chocolate.

You can get fat eating this right? It has a bunch of sugar, right?

Yes. It’s animal free and its cruelty free but it has all the things that make it good.

What is your personal favorite?

It is probably a tie between the Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt White Chocolate and the Columbian Dark chocolate.

How much are these bars?

$6 each. The special during the Columbus VegFest is 5 for $25.


I did taste the two Dark Chocolate favors and the Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt White Chocolate. They tasted ok to me; but, it had a slight aftertaste. Again, my disclaimer, I’m not Vegan.

They had a faculty representative from the School of Alternative Medicine giving free Reflexology. It was past relaxing and FREE on top of that.   

Cameron with Bright Farms at Columbus VegFest 2018
Cameron with Bright Farms at Columbus VegFest 2018

What product did I just eat?

I believe you had our Sunny Crunch. The leaf is called Crystal bell. It is a lighter cruncher alternative to iceberg or romaine lettuce. It has a lot more nutrients and is a lot healthier.

Did you say you will be in select Walmarts?

Yes, we will be in select Walmarts in the Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton areas in October. We are located in Wilmington. Our goal is to provide service to a 200-mile radius. We do have green houses in DC, Philly, and Chicago as well. We are new in this area. The biggest thing is we ask that you talk to your local grocery store produce manager or even post on social media and tell them you have tried Bright Farms and it is amazing. Going local is better than importing from California.

Anything else?

We are non-GMO verified, pesticide free.  We are 24-hour harvest to store, and we are grown hydroponically. We are cleaner than organic. A lot of organic products still use organic pesticides. Growing hydroponically is just minerals, greens, water in a soil free medium. We are a premium product with a standard price.


This was really good. He told the truth! I would buy this again.  They also have other products; but, I didn’t try those.

Jamie Inks, Jinxi Chocolate and Wooster Chocolate Company at Columbus VegFest 2018
Jamie Inks, Jinxi Chocolate and Wooster Chocolate Company at Columbus VegFest 2018

Tell me what you want me to know.

We are a Vegan, gluten free organic bean to bar chocolate. We used three ingredients to make our dark chocolate: cocoa beans, a little extra cocoa butter, and sugar. Our Vegan milk chocolate has the addition of coconut milk. It’s all soy free, diary free and gluten free.

How much do your products cost?

They are on the high end of the chocolate scale because we use pure ingredients and we make very small batches. Typically, the bars run $2.50 to $4. You get what you pay for.

Kass Kimbale, Funny Girl Vegan Bacon, Instagram: @funnygirlbacon, at Columbus VegFest 2018
Kass Kimbale, Funny Girl Vegan Bacon, Instagram: @funnygirlbacon, at Columbus VegFest 2018

I had something that was amazing. What was it?

That was our Sriracha Vegan Bean Back Snack Strip. It’s a new product. I just got the labels two days ago.

There was a cheese looking thing on the top. What was that?

That is follow your heart vegan smoked gouda cheese. You can buy it at Meijer and Whole Foods.

How much does one little strip cost?

You get two strips in a package. The original cost is $3. The Sriracha cost $4. But today, we are offering a mix and match- 3 for $10.

What’s up with the high prices?

It’s all organic ingredients. When you consider that only organic ingredients are used, it is not that much more than other things that are out there.

I talked with a representative from Vegan Shift and April Tisby.

My take on Columbus VegFest 2018:

I loved attending Columbus VegFest! I learned a lot. There seemed to be one vendor that was selling some type of wrap. They were the first vendor as you enter the auditorium. The line was very long. It made it difficult to get into the auditorium. I would suggest they have a different location that isn’t close to the entry and speed up their service. I wanted to try a wrap; but, I didn’t want to wait in the long line. As for me and my house, we are going to continue to have regular desserts.