The 2018 World Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese Championship (formerly known as the Smackdown) is now run and organized by Thrive Baltimore. Head on over to the Facebook event page to learn more and register to attend or compete!
The members of the PEP Foods Collective set out to accomplish one very important goal: To produce healthy vegan food and make it accessible to everyone, regardless of income.
About PEP Foods
PEP Foods is a collective of vegan businesses in the Baltimore, MD area that has developed a line of delicious, healthy foods that offer an affordable alternative to animal products. The main goal of PEP Foods is to increase the demand for vegan cuisine by creating great-tasting, cruelty-free products that anyone can afford.
The goal of the PEP Foods kitchen is to create low-cost vegan foods and market them in low-income communities. Once we have our 100% vegan kitchen up and running (our target date is May 1, 2015), we will begin the production of a line of vegan foods, including cheeses, seitan and tofu that will be an affordable alternative to animal products.
Members of the PEP Foods Collective have adopted five vacant lots in Penn-North, a low-income community in Baltimore City. Through these gardens, our goal is to teach people how to grow vegetables and fruits using sustainable, eco-friendly methods as a way of addressing the health disparities and food access issues in their community.
The Eating for Life Program
The members of the PEP Foods Collective understand that producing affordable vegan products isn’t enough. If people don’t understand the way that their choices can negatively impact the rest of the planet, they will continue to view veganism as a “personal choice.” Eating for Life is a series of workshops that explore the ethics of veganism, demonstrate how going vegan positively impacts the entire planet and provide resources that can assist people in transitioning to the vegan lifestyle.
“The Sustainable Caterer”
- We use wholesome ingredients to create a variety of flavorful plant-based dishes
- We prioritize local, organically grown foods in our recipes
- We utilize Zero Waste practices to minimize our environmental impact
Our Product Lines
PEP Foods makes dairy free, vegan cheeses come in 3 flavors:
- Pepper Jack
We also produce our own seitan in 4 flavors:
- Savory Herb
- Spicy Italian
- Tangy Ginger
- Fajita Spice
About PEP Foods
PEP Foods is a vegan collective dedicated to distributing and promoting vegan food both locally and nationally. We believe that vegan food should be accessible and affordable to people everywhere, in all walks of life. To help make that a reality we have crafted a line of vegan staples to help people replace the animal-based products which they may be accustomed to using with affordable, plant-based ones. Combined with our other member businesses we offer a full line of products that are not only good for you, but are kind to the animals, the environment, and other people.
PEP Foods offers a full line of vegan cheeses and seitan.
Proudly offering raw, vegan cheesecake in 4 unique flavors:
- White Chocolate Raspberry
- Lemon Blueberry
- Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Chocolate Mint
About Alternative Cultures
Alternative Cultures exists to bring together compassionate food choices with healthy, healing ingredients and delicious flavors. We offer raw, vegan, and probiotic cheesecakes in four signature gourmet flavors: White Chocolate Raspberry Lemon Blueberry Chocolate Mint Chocolate Peanut Butter All of our cheesecakes are free from gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, MSG, artificial preservatives and flavors, and cruelty. We are always happy to try to work around any other food restrictions you might have, so please give us a call and let us know. You can find our cheesecakes at Baltimore area health food stores and restaurants. We also accept custom orders for delivery or pickup and catering orders. Call us at to get started!
Alternative Cultures makes raw, probiotic, whole foods, vegan desserts and more!
Available soon as grab-and-go food and for catering orders!
- Vegetable Lo Mein
- Vegan Lasagna
- Quinoa Salad
About Enlightening Bellies
Chef Luz and Enlightening Bellies create amazing vegan, homestyle meals for both catered events and for local stores in containers To Go. From entrees to desserts and everything in between, Chef Luz is able to deliver rich, savory plant-based meals that leave diners feeling satisfied and nourished.
Nourishing, homestyle vegan food that the whole family will love!
Community Outreach Coordinator, Zero Waste Coordinator
Brenda Sanders serves as Executive Director of Better Health, Better Life, a public health organization and is Co-Director of Open the Cages Alliance, an animal advocacy organization in Baltimore, MD. Through Better Health, Better Life, Brenda runs the Eating for Life program, a series of free workshops aimed at teaching people in low-income communities how to live a healthier, more holistic lifestyle. With Open the Cages Alliance, she co-organizes the Vegan Living Program, a six-week education program that teaches the basics of transitioning to the vegan lifestyle. Brenda also co-created Vegan SoulFest, an annual festival that celebrates culture and the vegan lifestyle in Baltimore City and she organizes the Veganism Support Group, a monthly potluck and discussion group for new and aspiring vegans. In her spare time, Brenda helps to organize social justice events and demonstrations in the Baltimore area.
Community Garden Coordinator, Research and Development, Founder of Enlightening Bellies
Chef Luz started Enlightening Bellies to do just that – to enlighten our bodies through the food we eat. To this end chef Luz creates delicious, whole foods, plant-based meals that are nourishing to body and spirit. Her workshops with the Eating for Life program include Vegan Caribbean Cooking and Vegan Cooking 101. Luz also serves as our Community Garden Coordinator, helping to coordinate the efforts of the volunteers in the Penn North community to keep our gardens growing!
Kitchen Operations Manager, Marketing Director
Erin is a Director of Open the Cages Alliance (OTCA), a Baltimore-based social justice organization focused on animal liberation. Her roles with OTCA conducting outreach and other advocacy events, serving as the group’s secretary, and writing content for OTCA’s email alerts, websites, literature, and social media. Erin has been organizing animal advocacy events on the grassroots level in Baltimore since 2003. Since 2011, she has co-organized OTCA’s vegan mentorship and education program, the Vegan Living Program. The Vegan Living Program is a series of free educational events that cover the basics of vegan living, including ethical implications, nutrition and meal planning, living vegan in a not-yet-vegan world, and environmental benefits of vegan living. Erin is passionate about the connections between different struggles for justice, and values the experience she gains from volunteering with local labor organizations in addition to her work with OTCA.
Director of Sales, Lecturer, Fitness Expert
Aaron has been promoting health through a plant-based diet in and around Baltimore since 2009. His workshops have covered topics such as healthy smoothie making, plant-based bodybuilding, and eating plant-based on a budget. As Director of Sales Aaron Lockett applies his years of experience plant-based health advocacy, health coaching, and sales, all towards our goal of making healthy, vegan foods affordable and accessible to everyone in and around Baltimore.
Dr. Milton R. Mills
Medical Advisor, member of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Doctor Milton R. Mills is a firm believer in plant-based diets. In his work with patients he has seen plant-based diets improve or even eliminate the symptoms diabetes, heart disease, HIV, and AIDS. His speaking engagements span the country at hospitals, churches, and community centers.
Accounting, Sustainable Agriculture Advisor, Founder of Alternative Cultures
Whole food, plant based desserts that are not only healthy, but great tasting – that’s the goal that inspired Chef Kyle to create Alternative Cultures and his line of vegan cheesecakes. An expert on the subject of vegan cheese creation, Kyle teaches the art of vegan cheesemaking to community groups in and around Baltimore. Kyle is also a permaculture designer who works to incorporate various sustainable and even regenerate agriculture techniques into our community gardens.
In Partnership With