This Downtown Brooklyn restaurant is bringing Dominican flair to vegan cuisine. Located at 88 Livingston Street between Court and Boerum Place, Next Stop Vegan brings vegan creativity to traditional Latin dishes as well to American favorites. The skill, heart, and ingenuity that goes into their food is not to be missed. We had a chance to speak with the co-owner of Next Stop Vegan, Blenlly Mena, to learn about the inspiration and mission that prompted the quick growth of the business.
DBP: Tell us a little about yourself and the story behind your business. How did it all get started?
Blenlly Mena (BM): I’m Dominican, born and raised in the Bronx. I’ve been vegan for about 8 years now, and the story of Next Stop Vegan began back in 2017. After living in South Korea for several years and cooking vegan food for myself and others, I came back to the Bronx, where I started my vegan food business. I brainstormed about how to make specifically Latin dishes, and my mother and my sister became huge influences in ‘vegan-izing’ popular Dominican dishes. In 2018 we created several well-loved dishes and became a popular vegan Dominican kitchen. After that we grew very fast. We started getting requests from my sister’s corporate world, my friends, neighbors, relatives, and people who were interested in vegan meals and curious about the health benefits of veganism. We grew so fast that we ended up getting a commercial space. At that point, we were delivering food all over the city and to New Jersey.
We continued to grow and became the face of veganism with a Dominican twist. It was a full collaboration with my mom, sister, nephews, and nieces. Everyone was chipping in, helping to deliver food, peeling potatoes – everyone was always doing something. It was a family environment; always very fun and welcoming.