Black-owned bakery “Like Mom’s Only Vegan” (LMOV) has just opened in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The vegan bakery opened in June at the popular Findlay Market and the customer response has been overwhelmingly positive. LMOV makes vegan cupcakes with flavors such as vanilla, blueberry, and chocolate. Rocky road, almond chocolate chip, and lemon-cran poppyseed cookies are also popular.
Co-founder Naomi Sams is a vegan of more than 20 years. She said that the phrase “you are what you eat” first prompted her to go vegan. Her mother, Sakile Chenzira, is a co-founder.
“The thought of preying on other animals was problematic,” Sams told Cincinnati Business Courier (CBC). “In the beginning it started out as a spiritual thing and evolved into a health thing.”
Sams’s four children—who she raised vegan—also work at the bakery. She said that workshopping different vegan recipes for them initially required a lot of trial and error.
“It was a lot of experimenting with different products, it was about trying to get the texture I remembered and making stuff my children wouldn’t mind eating,” said Sams. “At the time there was just Earth Balance margarine, not even in a tub but sticks, and the sticks didn’t bake right. Now there are a lot more vegan margarines.”
“Raising a vegan family before it was popular meant a lot more cooking at home, and less eating out,” she told LIVEKINDLY.
LMOV aims to make health-conscious, vegan baked goods with no artificial flavors or unnecessary ingredients.
“Knowing the stats on common ailments, especially among African Americans, like diabetes and heart disease, I know chances of those diseases are considerably reduced with plant-based diet,” Sams explained to CBC.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. But Black Americans, in particular, experience an increased rate of heart disease-related deaths. According to The Heart Foundation, nearly 48 percent of African American women and 44 percent of African American men have some form of heart disease.
The American Heart Association (AHA) has said that eating vegan is more effective than the previously recommended diet in preventing heart disease. A growing body of evidence also links plant-based foods with the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure and diabetes.
“Veganism has taught our family to be more compassionate to other people, animals, and our planet. We don’t condone the slaughter of animals or the wasting of natural resources,” Sams told LIVEKINDLY.