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Transformational Moments in Life – An Update

Dear Friends,

The future is uncertain for us. Our property in Illinois has not sold. Having to care and pay for two residences has been a hard stretch. As we’ve said before, we went all in for this dream, and there isn’t room for excesses.

Since the property hasn’t sold, and the business is not yet self-sustaining, we will have no choice but to return to Illinois. As many of you know, we work around the clock. We work in the bakery long hours and we have additional jobs. However, we have been actively searching for local employment all year. Asheville is one tough employment nugget to crack. We’ve had interviews and have more lined up, but employers are moving slowly, and if an offer doesn’t come by June 24,2012, we will be packing and moving back as our current lease is up on the 30th of June.

I Heart Veg will still exist, but we won’t be providing baked goods. Illinois does not offer the same opportunity for small businesses to exist as a cottage food industry. So, no, we can’t ship you our sweet treats, as we would not do that from an unlicensed kitchen.

All current orders will be fulfilled as promised, and any new orders will be taken on as time allows. We have to be prepared to move, so time is a precious commodity at this point.

Your support and encouragement has been amazing. Thank you for loving our products and spreading the word about us. We enjoyed meeting everyone, and for those of you who went out of your way to meet up at markets, order online, or phone in an order- we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for supporting our small business dream and helping to make delicious vegan food a viable option. We will keep you updated on our progress.

We heart you all,

Jeannie & Loren

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Lots of fun and love at the Big Love Fest in Asheville, North Carolina

Pig Statue Downtown Asheville

We volunteered out at the Big Love Festival in Asheville, North Carolina on May 6, 2012. We worked “crowd control” so we were two of the people attempting to keep people safe and guide cars safely through the open road that ran through the middle of the festival. This task was not as easy as it may sound. The cars were the easy part. You wouldn’t think that adult humans need to be told to stay off the road so cars can pass them without hitting them. Apparently, many do need to be alerted to this safety precaution. We had a great time though, and at the end of the day there were no injuries or fatalities, so that is a win, right? We thought so. We have a new respect for police officers who have to perform this task on a routine basis. They deserve a hearty “Thank You” the next time you are kept out of harms way.

Live Music Downtown Asheville

There was some great live music at the festival.

Big Love Festival Attendees

There were lots of attendees at the festival, the beautiful weather certainly helped!

Beautiful Asheville Sky

A beautiful sky in downtown Asheville, NC. See all those canopy tops? There are a multitude of crafters to shop at when you are attending the festival.

Compost Bin Downtown Asheville, NC

How awesome are compost bins?

It was a great day, and I hope you can go next year if you haven’t made it out yet! We love Asheville!


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I Heart Veg Press Release – Pass It On!

Online version with embedded photos and social links

A PDF to print, send, and share:

I Heart Veg Bakery Press Release

I Heart Veg™ A Dedicated Vegan Bakery Opens in

Black Mountain, North Carolina

New Asheville Area Bakery Offers Customized and Made to Order Vegan Treats That Can Only Be Defined As Edible Art

Black Mountain, NC (PRWEB) April 24, 2012

Asheville area residents who crave a sweet treat made with compassion should look no further than I Heart Veg, Western North Carolina’s exclusive dedicated vegan bakery located in Black Mountain.

I Heart Veg had their Grand Opening in February and has quickly become known by vegans and non-vegans alike as the bakery to seek out for an assortment of customizable and made to order gourmet baked goods.

“We work hard to prove that vegan baked goods are the triple threat— beautiful, delicious, and ethical,” said Jeannie Striegel, co-owner of I Heart Veg. “Our decorated cakes and cookies are works of edible art. We love working with our clients to create a unique and customized treat, and we feel privileged to be asked to participate in the special moments of their lives.”

As a “bake on demand” bakery, you won’t find shelves of stocked pastries waiting for you at I Heart Veg. “We want our food to be fresh, and we don’t want to waste an ounce of product if we can avoid it. Not only does this help keep our products affordable, but it is a good green practice that eliminates perfectly good food and packaging from being trashed at the end of the day,” said co-owner Loren Striegel.

I Heart Veg does not use any animal products or by-products in their ingredients. There are no eggs, dairy, hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup in any of their products. All chocolates are 100% organic, vegan, and fair-traded. They try to choose packaging that is earth friendly and is compostable, recycled, or easily recyclable. The Striegels support other local food producers by using locally grown fruits, herbs, flowers, and grains in their baked creations.

Their delectable assortment of scratch made treats include: cupcakes, chocolates, candies, rustic cookies, highly decorated cookies, cakes, baked donuts, cinnamon buns, biscuits, muffins, sweet breads, rustic breads, s’mores kits, and hand sculpted flowers and cake figurine toppers.

As new transplants from Illinois, this driven couple took a leap of faith and bet their future on the new place they love to call home.

“It’s easy to say that we fell in love with the beauty of the area, but we fell harder for the spirit of entrepreneurship that resides in these mountains. We specifically moved here to start a small business and become a part of a community that supports those endeavors,” said Jeannie. “We may be a small bakery, but we’ve got big dreams and big hearts. We love our new home and want to grow with this wonderful community.”

The owners of I Heart Veg are passionate about supporting the arts, education, and animal welfare issues. “Love Asheville—Go Local” card members are eligible for a 10% discount on all purchases (some exclusions apply), and the Asheville Vegan Society dining card members and local Meetup group participants are eligible for a discount as well.

The bakery hours are 8:00am until 7:00pm Monday through Sunday, but you can order online anytime you have a craving. I Heart Veg is participating in many area tailgate markets, so be sure to friend and follow them in social media and sign up for the bakery newsletter to stay informed on market dates and locations and receive updates on new items and promotions.

I Heart Veg also ships most products throughout the United States. Corporate gift baskets, cookie bouquets, and hotel treat packages are also available.

For more information and to view an ever-growing menu, visit or call 828-357-8061. Interested media outlets should contact Jeannie Striegel at veggie(at)iheartveg(dot)com.



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Vegan Easter Bunnies and Eggs

Stuff your baskets with these vegan sweets and you’ll have a compassionate Easter to chirp about.

Decorated Vegan Easter Eggs


Some bunny luvs you…

Some Bunny Luvs You Vegan Sugar Cookie

Packaged Vegan Sugar Cookie Bunny


Packaged Vegan Easter Egg Decorated Cookies

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See You at the West Asheville Tailgate Market

West Asheville Tailgate Market

Don’t forget to come by and pick up some I Heart Veg vegan baked goods at the West Asheville Tailgate Market on April 10, 2012 from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm. The market location is 718 Haywood Road, in the
parking area between the Grace Baptist Church and Sun Trust Bank. Need directions?

We’ll have a variety of goods for you to choose from, so please come hungry and ready to shop! This is our first tailgate, and we are so happy to participate in the season opener. We are down our trusty Saturn, as the transmission decided it didn’t quite know what to do with the new mountain driving it is experiencing. The tailgates are even more important for us, as they are now are our own “kickstarter” program to get our wheels back in motion.

Yes, we accept credit cards in our booth! Show us your “Love Asheville – Go Local” card for 10% off your purchase total. Asheville Vegan Meetup Group members – you get 5% off your total purchase!

We hope to see you there, please come by to say hello and introduce yourselves!

Look for us beneath a white canopy with the following banner:

I Heart Veg Banner



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Our Bakery Grand Opening and Giveaways!

Ribbon and Scissors image

We are having our Grand Opening here at I Heart Veg Bakery and want to get you just as excited about us as we are to have the opportunity to supply you with all the vegan goodness you can stomach. Want to get in on the fun? Enter for your chance to win some pretty cool swag. 🙂 Get ready to have a Very Vegan Valentine’s Day! See the photos below of your potential winnings.

Please see the rules and regulations for each giveaway, and here is the bottom line for deadlines.

The contest runs from Friday, February 3, 2012, 12:01am EST – Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 12:01am EST. The contest is open to US residents. Once the winners are picked via Rafflecopter, the names will appear in the widget.  The winner will be chosen and notified by 7:00am EST February 14, 2012 and will have until noon EST February 14, 2012 to respond. We will pick another winner if no response.

We’ve got giveaways for locals only (you are local if you can get here and pick up the treats and tickets), and stuff for those who aren’t so local and need to have their sweets delivered.

How to Enter:

You have at least 11 entries per contest. Each entry has a different call to action. Note: You get 4 entries for signing up for the newsletter, but you can only sign up for the newsletter one time, so choose which contest you’d like to use those extra entries if you are entering both contests.

Either use your Facebook login, or your name & email to enter the contest.

We are using Rafflecopter for this contest!
Continue reading Our Bakery Grand Opening and Giveaways!

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Pardon Our Powdered Sugar Dust

Dream Dust Image

I’ve hinted… I’ve been silent…I’ve been waiting…but I’m happy to say I can finally announce that we are opening our I Heart Veg Cake and Eats Vegan Bakery this week! This bakery is a dream come true for us, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Pardon our sugar dust as we move some stuff around here so that we can bring you our new online storefront. You’ll be able to order your goodies and have them shipped, and if you are a local, send in an order and pick it up at the bakery. We’ll soon be out at the tailgates, and hopefully you’ll start finding our products in your favorite stores and eateries. We’ll keep you posted.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Dream Dust Image




image credit: johnny_automatic

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Review: Teeccino Herbal Coffee Tee-bag – Vanilla Nut

Review for Teeccino herbl coffee, photo of cup, tee-bag

I love coffee. I love the flavor, the warmth in my hand, the taste, and the aroma. I drink a mug every morning to help get me going. I should say I make a cafe mocha every morning and give credit to my sweet Italian Moka pot. Sometimes I’d like a cup in the evening, but I don’t pour a cup because it winds up making me feel sick and I am reaching for an acid relief tablet. One cup of java a day is all I can handle. I wear the battle scars of one who once battled stomach ulcers.

So, most evenings I just brew a hot tea instead. I love tea, too. I love it cold or hot. But, I have to admit, sometimes I just really want another cafe mocha.

I was recently offered a free in-store sample of a Teeccino Herbal Coffee Tee-bag. I waited until I arrived back at home before sampling this new offering.

The front of the envelope states that it is an herbal coffee that is 75% organic, caffeine-free, and non-acidic. This particular sample was “vanilla nut” and is described as a “creamy vanilla accented by golden roasted almonds, dates, and figs.”

Ingredients: Organic carob, organic barley, organic chicory, dates, almonds, organic dates, vanilla extract, natural nut flavor, organic figs Contains: Almonds

When I opened the envelope that houses the individual Tee-bag, I was greeted by a pleasant aroma of what smelled to me like vanilla and coconut. No coconut in the ingredients, but it certainly smells like I should find tiny bits swimming in the Tee-bag.  Per the printed directions on the back of the envelope, I placed the Tee-bag in my mug and allowed it to steep for 5 mins. (3-5 min. range with boiling water). I followed the direction to “dunk the bag several times in the beginning for the best brew.”

As I stood nearby, watching the water in the mug turn a familiar shade that resembled black coffee, I hoped it would taste good because the aroma alone had gotten my hopes up so high I really couldn’t take the disappointment that I feared might await me.

I wish I could post a scratch and sniff sticker that you could smell, because the aroma from the brewed Tee-bag is so divine, it deserves to be shared. The vanilla and coconut scents mixed with a strong and distinctly “coffee” smell. My steamy cup beckoned the cat, dog, and Mr. Veg to the kitchen.

I didn’t add any soy milk, soy creamer, or sugars to my cup. The first sip needed to be naked— unfettered with other flavors and distractions. To my delight, that first sip rewarded me with the delicious taste of a robust roasted coffee.  Two more sips in and I was sighing.

Mr. Veg was eager to try it out. He declared that it “smelled amazing and tastes just like coffee.” He followed this statement up with a full inspection of the literature I’d received about the product. “I’d totally drink that” he said as he walked out of the room, followed by a pair of confounded pets who had waited to see exactly what had produced such a yummy smell.

Recap: Teeccino Herbal Coffee is delicious and would easily have fooled me, a coffee lover, into thinking that it was coffee.  Makes a great coffee alternative for anyone who wants to get off the java train, or just want a break from caffeine, coffee, and tea. I could totally see us replacing our coffee with Teeccino, and I’m thrilled and surprised by that.

You get a lot of healthy benefits in one cup, including:

– Antioxidants from carob, dates, barley and almonds

– Contains heart-healthy potassium and soluble fiber

– Prebiotic – inulin from chicory root supports beneficial microflora that improve digestion, regularity and intestinal health

– GMO-Free

I love the unbleached tea bag filter paper.

History of the product: The story behind Teeccino is inspiring for any entrepreneur.

Social Responsibility & Mission: A dedication to quality and sustainability that extends from the grower to the consumer.

green thumb Two green thumbs up for Teeccino Herbal Coffee! A perfume line cannot be far off.

Item: Teeccino Herbal Coffee Tee-bag

Price: free sample received at the store

Size: 1 Tee-bag (6g of Teeccino)

Vegan: YES!! All of the Teeccino Herbal Coffee products are vegan.

Review for Teeccino herbl coffee, photo of cup, tee-bag

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Track Your Garden Harvest Bounty Stats

Vegtables Harvest from the garden

A lot is made of planning the garden and keeping track of seeds and plant placement, but what about when the stuff starts to grow? There seems to be a shortage of material dedicated to keeping track of what you’ve actually grown.

We started keeping track of our harvested bounty last year. We started a simple Excel file and just kept a running tally with that program. We had a pretty impressive haul last year, some plants more than others. Check out our stats:

2009 – Garden

Cherry Tomatoes: 6.275 lbs

Cucumbers: 20.7 lbs

Zucchini: 71 lbs

Jalapeno peppers: .7 lbs

banana peppers: 1.4 lbs

Green Bell Peppers: 1 lb

Yellow Squash: 1 lb

Mixed Tomatoes (Big Boy, Roma,  Yellow, etc…) 211 lbs

lol yes, we love tomatoes

We do A LOT of canning, enough so that we have enough picante and spaghetti sauce for the winter. We haven’t hit our tomato yield from last year, but so far, we are surpassing last year in other plant growth.

Here are a few gems to help you start counting that harvest: has some great Gardening Printables, including this handy PDF for you to download that will help keep track of what what you harvest and when. While there isn’t a specific box for weight, you can just write it along with the plant name harvested. If nothing else, keep this print out by your weigh station to record into another file or system later. has a sweet little garden journal that helps you start up your garden from planning to soil preparation, but also contains a great “harvest and yields” sheet that will keep track of those bounty stats.


We’ve just signed up for Folia, so excuse our sparse info., but the site looks very neat, with lots of features. Some features you do need to go “pro” for (aka pay), but until you decide if that is for you, you’ll have a blast using the free version. There is all matter of tracking what you grow,  swapping seeds, you can keep a journal, highlight your great garden photos… there is a lot to do and see here.

I’m tracking my garden: - Organise, track & share your gardening adventures!

Keep track of what you grow because it is fun. Keep track because it helps you see what plants do well for you (and are worth your time and investment). Keep track because you can start to see a pattern in what is lacking in either your soil, your skills, or your time. Keeping tracking of your harvest also helps you stay on top of what is coming in and needs your attention. Ripe tomatoes won’t stay fresh and lovely forever.

Please, do share your methods of keeping track of your bounty!

Vegtables Harvest from the garden