Shoshana owns Brooklyn Rose Pastries and directs all operations (including events – like VOAA’s upcoming launch party April 9th and the fabulous VSPOT Market!!) at VSPOT Organic East Village and NYCC. Oh yes, and she is also their fabulous pastry chef!! VSPOT has always had a great community vibe, but even more so now that Shoshana is an integral part of their team. If you’re in NYC and haven’t been to a vegan market yet (or just haven’t been to VSPOT’s yet), the VSPOT Market should be top of your list! Shoshana will greet you, introduce you to everyone there, make sure you eat, show you some awesome art, and generally make you feel like family/a million bucks!! Make sure you try one of her delectable pastry perfections while you’re there!! (We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: Her mini champagne cupcakes are one of the best foods in all of NYC.) We are thrilled to feature her here.
Thank you for all you do, Shoshana!!
What’s been the easiest and most challenging things about being vegan?
The easiest is how amazing living a cruelty-free life makes my body, mind and soul feel! The most challenging is finding the balance between living my truth and remaining accessible to non vegans and having open dialogue without judgment.
You knew a few vegans prior to making the shift. What influence did they have on you?
Yes! David Karopkin, founder of Goosewatch NYC, once told me (during my long transition period between vegetarianism & veganism), that “it’s not a purity contest”. The tolerance and acceptance I felt from attending events like the Veggie Prom (run by another awesome vegan, Jessica Mahady) and at the VSPOT in Brooklyn was what kept me coming back, even though I wasn’t mentally ready to commit for about 18 months. I was vegetarian for 5 years before becoming vegan, but actively trying to switch for 18 months. Most importantly, my mom & her partner (Marcie Frishberg & Larry Marion) being vegan and spending time with them and seeing how easy it actually could be was what sold me.
You have a really strong circle of veg allies! What’s some advice you’d give other vegans about having veg allies?
Most of us didn’t go vegan overnight. And those who did, probably weren’t surrounded by many other overnight vegans. It’s up to us to show patience, tolerance & kindness to everyone on their journey, no matter their stage of the process. Sometimes this is harder said than done (i.e. living in a mixed home with a non-vegan partner is some days more difficult to find tolerance and kindness than others, but I’m also a human with flaws!! It’s about progress, not perfection!).
You’re also passionate about homeless advocacy. Do you have advice for others who worry that if they stand up for animals or the environment their other advocacy might suffer?
Not at all. I think veganism is about all living beings deserving the same quality of life, and any kind of advocacy that lends itself towards helping others, is helping veganism.