COVID-19 pandemic prompts friends to venture into new business together

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many local businesses to close, but for two friends and entrepreneurs, it was a chance to venture into a new business together.

News 12 Staff

Jul 21, 2020, 1:59 AM

Updated 1,370 days ago

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many local businesses to close, but for two friends and entrepreneurs, it was a chance to venture into a new business together.
Marisa Sweeney and Kendra Arnold were originally the women behind New Jersey Vegfest, organizing vegan food festivals all around the state. Over the years, it grew in popularity.
“To the point where we were actually selling out events,” says Sweeney.
The pandemic put an end to these types of gatherings.
“It was a real hard time for us,” says Arnold.
But instead of giving up, the women started a new business called Vegan Local – an online vegan specialty market.
“Most of our vendors are from Jersey, but we decided to make it so that people could shop wherever they are,” says Arnold. “It’s divided up by state.”
More: Your New Jersey 'We're Open' Photos
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Vegan Local ships plant-based food and products all over the country. But the venture is not without its challenges.
“You had to figure out a whole new business model and, like, how do stores work?” says Arnold.
The friends say that it was worth it. Vegan Local now ships to 48 states.


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