New Co-op Caters to Vegans

The vegan co-op enjoys a meal in the Interfaith living room. Left to right: Ray Campos’12, Susie Smela’12, Marlee Leebrick-Stryker’13, Julia Blatchford’13, Marian Whitaker’14, Patrick Firme’13, Lauren Jankowski’12, Rachel McCarty’14. PHOTO BY BETH HANSON

By Beth Hanson

There’s a new co-op on campus this semester, catering to vegans.

Rachel McCarty’14 started organizing the vegan co-op last spring through talks with Clara
Baker’13, a member of the slow food co-op.  “I was really interested in that co-op,” McCarty said.  Baker suggested that McCarty start a co-op catering to vegans since the slow food co-op serves vegetarian food.

The slow food co-op provided assistance to McCarty and the vegan co-op researching how to start it up, but now the vegan co-op stands on its own feet.

Cooking vegan has proved cost-efficient for the co-op.  The eight members have each chipped in $75 so far.  The co-op made a deal with Scotch Hill Farm in Broadhead, Wis. in which they work on the farm and, in return, receive free vegetables.  Co-op members take turns visiting the farm, which is roughly a half hour drive from Beloit.

“It’s really nice to have a home-cooked meal.  Commons does a good job at accommodating vegans, but it’s not the same as cooking for yourself,” McCarty said.

Though the co-op cooks strictly vegan food, not all members are vegan.  Non-vegan members have interests in eating vegan more often as well as learning how to cook.

The vegan co-op eats dinner together Monday through Friday, alternating in shifts of two
cooks.  The Interfaith House is the primary host of the vegan co-op, providing storage and venue for the Monday through Thursday meals.  Due to a Hillel meeting in the Interfaith House on Fridays, the vegan co-op uses the Japan House.

“Ideally, we might need to find a bigger space,” McCarty said.  The co-op currently dines outside, but McCarty expressed concern about what the co-op will do when winter arrives.  McCarty would also like to expand the co-op, but a bigger space would need to be found in order for that to happen.

Those interested in vegan dining can check out the co-op’s blog on, where they post about their meals as well as information related to the co-op and vegan dining in general.



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