Acorn Cafe launches inside Generation Green’s new Main Street location



Sherry Sobey holds Acorn Cafe’s Tuesday feature: a cheezy mac bowl. The dish features Celine Land of Vegan Fromagerie’s special cheeze sauce./ALYSSA ETSELL


It’s cheezy mac day at Acorn Cafe and after a flurry of customers leaves Generation Green, owner Sherry Sobey pauses to remind herself to snag a bowl before the new restaurant runs out.


The brand-new vegan Acorn Cafe is nestled inside Generation Green’s location on Main Street, just a few blocks from Red River College’s Exchange District campus.


After outgrowing its original spot at The Forks, adding a cafe to the new place seemed like a natural fit, said Sobey.


“We started off saying we were going to do a vegetarian cafe, but easily it just seemed to be [that] everything was focused on vegan,” said Sobey. “Since [the] majority of my staff are vegan, it was like, let’s just do this.”


The cafe offers one featured menu item that changes daily, and has been well-received by customers. Sobey said this is thanks in large part to hobby cheesemaker, Celine Land.


Land owns Vegan Fromagerie, a vegan cheese maker, and started making cheese substitutes around 2012 because the ones available in stores were disappointing, she said.


Generation Green owner Sherry Sobey holds a bowl of Acorn Cafe’s cheezy mac on April 10, 2018./ALYSSA ETSELL


“I just kind of kept making it for my son and myself,” said Land, who has been vegan for 14 years. “Every potluck I would go to, I would make cheese to share with people.”


Until Land met Sobey, she said she didn’t realize making vegan cheese was something she could do professionally.


“This was kind of a big dream for me,” said Land. “Being vegan and being able to make something vegan to share with other people that they love is a huge deal.”


Veganism is growing in Canada, with a recent poll from the Vancouver Humane Society showing that 33 per cent of Canadians – almost 12 million people – are vegetarian or have started eating less meat.


“They’re up-and-coming, and I think it’s a new conversation, [with] Acorn Cafe and Generation Green leading the way,” said Danielle Friesen, a first-year graphic design student at Red River College, of the vegan options around the Exchange District. “A business that started at The Forks now has its own place on Main Street. That’s a big step for the vegan lifestyle.”


Sobey just launched Land’s cheese in a bulk pre-order through Generation Green, and said she’s excited to keep offering more options for Winnipeg vegans.