Meet Katie Mogan: The mastermind behind Belle General
Last spring, our local community was delighted to welcome Belle General to the downtown area. Belle General is a trendy convenience store whose hipster chic style can be likened to Rose Apothecary (Schitt’s Creek, anyone?). Not only do they sell funky stuff from boutique clothing brands like Stay Home Club, but they also offer a variety of unique and exciting snacks. Aside from freshly baked treats from Working Culture, we wanted to find out what other options Belle General had in stock for us. We asked owner Katie Mogan to help us round up ten of their most popular food items. From legendary queso dip to chocolate peanut butter, say hello to Victoria’s self-proclaimed “bougie-7/11”. And, guess what? These amazing snacks are all vegan!
1. Sin Queso
Sin Queso (meaning “without cheese” in Spanish), is a new Vancouver-based company. According to Katie, this is the “greatest plant-based queso in all the land”. Their cheezy dip is made from potato, onion, carrot, and cashew. It’s soy-free and gluten-free as well. No wonder Sin Queso is a top seller.
2. Vagabond Pies
Vagabond Pies makes their pizzas with homemade vegan ricotta and mozzarella down in Rock Bay. It just doesn’t get more local than that. Try the Fancy Marg, The Mushroom, Spicy Italian, or Chorizo & Chimichurri. These take-home pizzas frequently sell out, so you better move quickly.
Bonus: Devon from Vagabond Pizza also makes custom vegan S’more Treatzzas for Belle General.
3. Kolsvart Swedish Candy
If you’re an old-fashioned candy fan, why not try something different all the way from Sweden? Kolsvart Swedish candies are soft and come in a variety of interesting flavours. Katie’s picks: the Elderflower or Blackcurrant Raspberry.
4. Tom Bumble
Still, have a sweets craving? Tom Bumble is the way to go. This treat is made by Oregon Bark, the “hallmark candy of Portland-based candy makers”, says Katie. “It’s the first thing we sold out of the back when we launched in May, and we’ve since learned to keep the shelves well-stocked. Available in Smooth and Nutty singles, two-packs and four-packs.” Organic, vegan, gluten-free, and made with fair-trade chocolate.
5. Squish Candy
Unsurprisingly, gourmet vegan gummies are another popular item on the list. Belle General stocks over a dozen flavours of Squish gummies, which is a Quebec-based brand. Crowd favourites include Dinosours or Pink Lemonade.
6. Lesser Evil Popcorn
Feeling snacky yet? Lesser Evil Popcorn is organic, gluten-free, and vegan: “No Cheese Cheesiness is a customer favourite, and we’ve just added Himalayan Gold to our roster of vegan flavours”, says Katie. Consider yourself warned, however, this popcorn is also “highly addictive”.
7. Stroop Club Stroopwafels
Ever tried a stroopwafel? Belle General carries these “Dutch delights” from an Austin-based company in packs of two or eight. Try the vegan traditional version or their coffee-infused flavour. Gluten-free options are available as well.
8. Christie’s Chips
Who doesn’t love a crunchy snack made from natural ingredients? This California-based brand offers vegan, organic, and GMO-free chips for all to enjoy. Katie recommends the BBQ, Chili Con Queso, Nacho Inferno, or the top-selling Sour Cream & Wild Onion. Heck, why not just try them all?
9. Rolling Thunder Snacks
Corn nuts anyone? Belle General originally stocked Rolling Thunder salted corn nuts because of a Paul Rudd quote on the package. They have since started stocking BBQ, Chili Limon, and Ranch corn nuts as well. Vegan and gluten-free.
10. Mumgry Nut Butter
Just when you thought nut butter couldn’t get any better, Mumgry rises to the challenge. This Vancouver-based, plastic-free, vegan brand makes chocolate peanut butter and pistachio chocolate almond butter. Both are available alongside their classic peanut butter.
Written by Jessica Percy Campbell @veganvacationista
Photos courtesy of Belle General