We named our companyWe're animal lovers. We're food and health lovers. We love our planet, too.
Food for Lovers for a few reasons.
Since we're hitched, you can safely bet we love all these things as deeply as we love each other.
How It All Began
Chris Tate has been vegan for 10 years. And Crystal Tate for 7. When we moved to Austin together from our small south Texas hometown, I became vegan literally overnight. We had so little money. Whatever money we had for groceries went towards meals we could share (making them vegan out of consideration for Chris). After just a few months eating this way, I had an incredible change in my health. I then learned about animal welfare, the environmental impacts of our food and the other great health benefits. I was sold.
It wasn't easy right away. I had no idea how to cook! Chris knew a little better than me. Really though, we had lots to learn.
Just between us, I missed Mexican food. In fact, "missed" is a huge understatement. Growing up in a family where you knew what season it was based on whatever my mom, aunts and grandmother created was reality. Tamales in the winter and capirotada around the Spring! Cumin (or comino) was certainly one of the first smells I ever did smell!
Being Hispanic is one huge part of my cooking influence. Luckily, my father's mom and siblings brought another element to the mix: Southern Country Cooking. I'm referring to biscuits, german chocolate cake, casseroles, puddings and more.
I fell completely in love with vegan cooking, and Chris fell back in love with vegan food. You can probably guess what happened next : we fell in love - with each other!
And Then There Was Queso...
Eventually, we figured out our way around the kitchen even more than before. One day, I realized we could have anything we craved as long as we were willing to work hard at it. The familiar food I grew up with: fideo, tamales, enchiladas, conchas, and more - could all be recreated. Could it be delicious, though? With lots of trial and error and my fond memories close by, it was achieved! Chris didn't have to eat peanut butter sandwiches anymore. We'd "eat good" from then on.
Being born & raised in Texas, we have a need deep down for spicy, hearty food. Which brings me back to the perfect vegan queso that I had yet to create. It was the one last food that I hadn't conquered. My final frontier, if you will. It bugged me to say the least. I decided to take it down. I was hungry, picky and ruthless in making the right version. I wanted an authentic queso that I'd be proud of as a Texan, a Mexican-American and as a food lover. Chris tasted batch after batch. Together we discovered our favorite blend of spices and found a balance of creaminess to heat. To be honest, we haven't stopped eating and sharing our queso since then.
It's been two years in the making! Mostly because we couldn't afford to bring our vegan queso to fruition! We still can't, but today we have a small team of people who believe in our food. To get the word out, we sold our vegan queso by the gallons to a local cafe. The people of Austin ordered 300+ gallons of our vegan queso just last year. We moved it back and forth for ages. We got the word out as best we could. Now it's finally time to bring it to the shelves!
Food for Lovers vegan queso will hit two Austin Whole Foods locations in July 2010. We promise you that we'll do whatever it takes to get our vegan queso to your hometown. We'll need your help, though. We believe that anyone should be able to pickup some vegan queso on the way to a friend's house for movie night. Your friend who's vegan or lactose intolerant can join the spicy festivities. Your aunt who watches her cholesterol can relax. You don't have to compromise your love for animals or your health. Your whole family and all of your friends can sit around, dipping chips, topping enchiladas, getting their casserole on - together. It's a more evolved, considerate way to share a meal. Not to mention, it tastes darn good!