Coco Bean Vegan Market opened on Feb. 9, expanding the variety of vegan food available in the Chapel Hill area. The market is an extension of Coco Bean Cafe, which was founded in September of 2016 by Tamara and Steve Lackey.
The couple is devoted to supporting veganism in Chapel Hill through their businesses. The Lackeys have been vegan for eight years, and they were familiar with the struggle to find vegan groceries for their family.
“Here in the Triangle, there is no vegan market,” Tamara Lackey said. “You usually have to go everywhere. You have to go to like five stores to pull together what you might want for being able to do a lot of cooking while you’re home.”
Coco Bean Vegan Market provides a place that is closer to campus for vegan students to find the groceries that they need. There are limited vegan options for UNC students on campus.
“Usually whenever I do need groceries or whenever I do want something to be vegan, I don’t really go to the dining halls,” first-year Emily Rosario said. “I go off campus. I go to Harris Teeter in Carrboro, or I go to Trader Joe's and take the bus there.”