Image provided by Allysa Credits: Matt Cordova

Meet Allysa Bassir, the Founder of Vegan Farmers’ Market, Thistle&Sage

by | July 22, 2019

Vegan baker and vendor at farmers’ market, Allysa Bassir has gifted vegans, living in Southern California, with an all plant-based farmers’ market- Thistle & Sage. And as expected, the response has been positive and encouraging. Besides being a cruelty-free safe zone, Thistle & Sage is a kid and pet-friendly place where you get to enjoy vegan delicacies while exploring the wide range of plant-based products. Rush there every third Saturday of the month and you’ll be raving about it like several other visitors and shoppers.

I got a chance to connect with Allysa, who opened up on several aspects of starting a plant-based business and her idea of veganism.

Meet Allysa Bassir, the Founder of Vegan Farmers' Market, Thistle&Sage
Image provided by Allysa Credits: Matt Cordova

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Meet Allysa Bassir, the Founder of Vegan Farmers’ Market, Thistle&Sage

Here are the excerpts from the interview.

Congratulations on the success of Thistle & Sage. It has been winning hearts. I must confess, I am intrigued by the name and can sense a story behind it. What made you choose this particular name? 

The name of the event was really important to me. I wanted something earthy enough that it would connect with Veganism but also something that wasn’t too in your face, or, would turn nonvegans off from coming. I and a friend were looking through all the different plant names and Thistle & Sage just felt right! 

Image provided by Allysa Credits: Matt Cordova

What was the motivation behind establishing a vegan farmers’ market in California?

I personally have been a vendor at farmers’ markets for the past 4 years selling vegan pies and baked goods. We don’t have many vegan options in the area and more and more people are becoming vegan! I wanted to create a space for people to come together and enjoy themselves but also provide them with the best vegan food around! 

Image provided by Allysa Credits: Matt Cordova

Establishing such a wonderful market place right from scratch wouldn’t be easy. What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome? 

In the beginning, it was really hard to convince the bigger more established food vendors to come to the market. I had zero proof that people would show up and that it would be profitable for them. Thankfully all of the food vendors sold out at the first event! 

What sets Thistle & Sage apart from other vegan farmers market places? 

Most markets are a place where you come, shop, and leave. I didn’t want that for Thistle & Sage. I wanted people to relax, spend time together, enjoy live music or create something at one of the workshops. The layout of the market is specially curated so that people don’t feel like they are being forced to shop but can explore with ease and just enjoy themselves.

Image provided by Allysa Credits: Matt Cordova

I came across hashtag purplefortheplanet campaign being run by Thistle & Sage on Social Media. What is it about?

Thistle & Sage isn’t just a vegan market but we are also a single-use plastic-free event! The environment is very important to me and I want to give people the opportunity to learn and reduce their carbon footprint! Purple for the Planet was a campaign created by Sambazon. For every person that colored their hair purple and posted a picture #purplefortheplanet Sambazon purchased 5 acres of rainforest to protect! I set up a booth at the market with cruelty-free hair temporary hair dye and it was a huge hit! 

What made you embrace veganism? Was it an over-night turn or a slow transition? 

At 15, I stopped eating meat and shortly after became vegan. It’s been almost 11 years! Not eating meat was definitely an easy thing, I’ve always loved animals and it never felt right eating them. Now I’m vegan for so many reasons, the animals, the planet, my health, the list is endless! 

Image provided by Allysa Credits: Matt Cordova

What future do you foresee for the vegan economy over the next several years? 

I am amazed and so thankful at how veganism has grown! The fact that restaurant like Del Taco and Carl’s Jr. have vegan options is just proof that over the years plant-based options will be just as common, hopefully even more common than meat and dairy options! 

Where do you see Thistle & Sage in the next five years? What are your future plans for the company? 

The success of Thistle & Sage has me dreaming big for sure! I definitely want to expand the market and travel with it. I’ve been playing with the idea of having more of an online presence with vegan resources and guides as well! The possibilities are endless! 

Any message for fellow vegans? 

A message to fellow vegans: Prioritize your compassion for all beings. Be patient with those that are learning and growing! And stay Vegan!

Have you been to a vegan farmers’ market before? How was the experience? Comment below.

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