Nestled beside and partnered with Downtown Stockton’s HATCH is Vegan Soulstice, a farmer’s market that celebrates fresh and delicious cruelty-free vegan food as well as arts and crafts created by community artists and makers.
The brainchild of husband and wife, James and Bibi Bender, Vegan Soulstice is leading the way in teaching the community about delectable, innovative, and compassionate plant-based food. Plus, there is something about being outside in the sunshine and fresh air that elevates the entire experience of shopping and eating.
The market, free to attend and open to the public every first Saturday and third Sunday of the month, offers space to stroll from vendor to vendor and take in all of the cool and laidback vibes. People of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to attend and the market is dog-friendly, making it easy to get the whole family out into the community and experiencing the health and vitality of a vegan-friendly lifestyle whether you’re strictly vegan or not.
Upon arriving to this Stockton gem, guests can’t help but be lured in by the tantalizing aromas that waft from each chef’s pop-up tent. Stockton is known for its ethnic diversity and the food at Vegan Soulstice celebrates that with varied menus and passionate chefs doling up creative, meat-less, dairy-less, and egg-less combos.
With dishes like the must-try portabella steak (you will be amazed at this mushroom’s meaty and satisfying flavor), gourmet fried potatoes with freshly minced herbs drizzled in yummy sauces, savory sushi with creamy avocado and crisp veggies, loaded jackfruit tacos, artisan horchatas in every flavor and color of the rainbow, and perfectly soft and chewy baked cookies (try the s’more flavor or the birthday-inspired cookie with frosting and sprinkles), you will be in awe at the dishes that these vegan chefs are preparing.
After you have filled your belly with food that leaves you feeling nourished and satisfied, browse the canvases with colorful designs, succulents in a plethora of pots, and displays of hand-crafted jewelry and kitchenware. You will quickly gain the sense that Vegan Soulstice is a group of vendors who are interested in more than the business of profit, they are on a mission to spread and share their passions with the community.
The market is partnered with HATCH Workshop, a 501(c)(3) non-profit for emerging artists and makers with a mission of awakening and empowering the craftsperson in everyone through access to affordable workspaces, education, and equipment. HATCH artists can be found at the market presenting their works with an air of pride and dedication.
James and Bibi Bender have truly created a special place in the heart of Stockton that you do not want to miss. When you see them, be sure to say hello and capture the warmth and friendliness they exude, a feeling that is reverberated throughout the market.
When we share the experience with others in our community who also value the simple and rewarding practice of eating, drinking, and creating, a magical thing happens; we realize that together is the way nature intended us to grow, connect, and collaborate.
40 S. Union St., Stockton