The first 100% vegan supermarket, HaGal HaYarok, opens in IsraelYael Tamar
It’s no secret that Israel is leading the worldwide vegan revolution. With most restaurants in Israeli cities offering at least one or several clearly-marked vegan options and the well-known non-profit organization, Vegan-Friendly, marking venues such across Israel on a vegan map, it’s no wonder that Israel was one of the first places in the world where a 100% vegan supermarket chain opened its doors.
The founders, Eylon Zakzer, specialty food importer, and Rafael Avraham, the founder of East and West market chain, recognized the difficulties that vegans while shopping for food and household items while embarking on their own journey toward a more cruelty-free and ethical lifestyle, including the need to examine the ingredients of each product, the lack of choice and trust when it comes to imported products.
Both were inspired by their children as well as by the need to live healthier lifestyles with Rafael losing 20 kilos on a largely plant-based diet.
“We are transforming the vegan shopping experience,” said Zakzer. “We are providing a level of trust that no other store has given before. Our customers can shop freely knowing that that each and every product was checked and approved as vegan, cruelty-free and not tested on animals.”
“There is a certain stigma about vegan food,” added Avraham, “that vegan does not equal tasty. “And we are here to
change that.” HaGal HaYarok will take shoppers on a culinary journey, help the vegan newbies with recipes and provide top products in the market in a great variety.
“We personally test and taste all the products,” said Avraham.
HaGal HaYarok has already started to produce a variety of products under its very own private label, including frozen products and vegan ice cream, produced by the Black Hebrews community in Dimona, Israel, as well as superfoods and cookies. HaGal HaYarok is planning to expand its private label offering and even export it overseas.
The company has plans to open at 5 locations in Israel by the end of 2018. The first store, located on 50 HaCarmel St. corner of Hashomer at the heart of the Carmel market, sells over 4000 products and ingredients imported from all over the world.
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