The Traveling Cannabis Writer

Photo Credit: New Legacy Vegans

Black woman owned, mother daughter duo, with Jamaica in the bloodline; New Legacy Vegans is a vegan kitchen in Fort Lauderdale, FL on a mission to prevent, treat, and reverse bad health into better health through vegan meal creation.

As a south Florida vegan from Miami, who travels the country to put BIPOC owned plant businesses in headlines, I was all too thrilled to be introduced to New Legacy Vegans through Vegan Junkie Burgers. 

I walked into New Legacy Vegans with a huge smile on my face and left out floating on a cloud of love. This is a family owned and operated business making delicious vegan meals with non processed alternatives. 

I had the pleasure of feasting on Alkaline Vegan Sausage Baked Pasta, Mango Key-Lime Punch + Seamoss, the Vegan Banana Pudding, and the Vegan Peach Cobbler. Everything is so flavorful and delicious. So much flavor! As a girl from the south, I’m picky about banana pudding and peach cobbler, but let me tell you; I FELL IN LOVE!

In their kitchen/store, visitors will find sea moss, salads, various beverages, various mushrooms, various herbs, and desserts for sale. 

In my 4th: Where to Eat Vegan feature, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Stephanie Harper (mom) and LaVonna Shannon (daughter), the faces and hands behind: New Legacy Vegans. 

Q & A with the Owners of New Legacy Vegans: LaVonna and Stephanie

Photo Credit: Dr. C’s POV

Where are you all from; where is your family from; where were you raised if not in/ from Florida?

“I, (LaVonna) was born and raised in Florida and Stephanie was born in London, raised in New Jersey, and is of Jamaican descent.”

What you did for work or other businesses owned and worked prior to New Legacy Vegans?

“LaVonna was a Nutritionist for WIC for about 3 years after graduating. She took a break from work for over a year to work on business. She went back to work in 2019, lost that job in 2020, and went full-time into business.

I, (Stephanie) worked in the medical field as a unit secretary for over 20 years and as a teaching assistant for about 10 years working with special needs students.” 

Can you all give a little insight into the 10 year old you’s; what were your hopes and dreams? 

“10 year old me (LaVonna) was a food network fanatic. I loved food and I wanted to be a chef. 

10 year old me (Stephanie) wanted to work in corporate America. I loved watching women in Jersey and NYC walk the streets in their suits and sneakers with a briefcase. This was my dream.” 

When did cooking and meal creation start for you all?

“We are a mother-daughter team so we have been in the kitchen together forever. LaVonna has always been the sous chef since a child as I (Stephanie) was the lead chef in the kitchen. Now the roles have changed after she became a professionally trained chef. But we are always discussing new ideas, challenging ourselves, and creating whatever comes to mind.” 

Photo of the Peach Cobbler by Vee

When did you know you wanted to feed others? 

“I (LaVonna) didn’t always have a desire to feed others. I’ve just always wanted to create in the kitchen. I love challenges, recreations, and experimenting so, being able to now share this with others is just a bonus. 

Since I (Stephanie) was a child, I would watch my grandmother feed others and this is something that I also desired.” 

What’s your favorite thing to create and feed others?

“I (LaVonna) pretty much love to share anything that I make and perfect. Stehanie loves to create and share desserts.” 

When was the concept born and what was the reason(s)?

“I (LaVonna) worked with Stephanie to change her lifestyle and reverse diabetes, high cholesterol, arthritis, and obesity. After losing over 50lbs in less than 4 months. We knew we had to share this with others. LaVonna’s story was so inspiring that we started to get a lot of questions and New Legacy Vegans started to give birth out of my kitchen.” 

What was the official birthdate of New Legacy Vegans?

“February 27, 2019.”

What is the mission and core values of New Legacy Vegans?

“Our mission is to offer food and products that help individuals transition and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Core Values: Health, Lifestyle, Legacy.” 

Photo of the banana pudding by Vee

What are 3 things people should know about New Legacy Vegans?

“ 1) We live this lifestyle and love being an example for others to follow. 2) We believe that food is healing. 3) We stand by ‘passion over profit’.” 

Is there anything interesting about the location of New Legacy Vegans? 

“We are located in a very diverse area. We are the only vegan restaurant in the area that uses unprocessed, whole ingredients to develop our recipes. We are a full scratch made kitchen.” 

What inspired the menu and offerings?

“The menu and other offerings were inspired by what we personally enjoy. Although we love our traditional American and Caribbean foods, we also love to try other cuisines from many other cultures. We cook and serve all of our food with love and we try to show our passion and creativity through our food. 

Another level of inspiration is the food guide offered by Dr. Sebi. Many believe that there are many restrictions when using the food guide, but we prove otherwise. Over 90% of our food follows the African Bio Mineral Balance.” 

What kinds of plant proteins do you all use? 

“We use a variety of nuts, beans, seeds, and leafy greens which all include sources of protein.”

Photo of the Alkaline Vegan Sausage Baked Pasta by Vee

How do you all feel about cannabis for wellness? 

“There is still a lot that we have to learn and explore on this topic.” 

Any hemp offerings on your menu/as an ingredient (hemp seeds/milk/protein)?

“You can find hemp in a few items within our store. Irish Moss Hemp Punch uses hemp milk as a base for the drink. Our banana breads also have homemade hemp milk. Also, our Walnut Taco Salad uses a smokey hemp dressing. There are many other things that we create with hemp seeds as well that can be found on our Friday “Hot Pick” menu.” 

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