Hugh Jackman is a well-known coffee aficionado, opening Laughing Man Coffee in 2011. The trendy New York City coffee shop is now unveiling a full-scale plant-based bakery thanks to a regular customer, Chef Lauren Evans. Evans, a lifelong Tribeca resident, will help to open a vegan café called Laughing V at Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee, providing Manhattan coffee lovers with vegan baked goods, sandwiches, and more.

Despite Tribeca’s trendy status, the downtown Manhattan neighborhood is lacking plant-based food options. Evans aims to promote plant-based eating, campaigning for more vegan options in the neighborhood, according to VegNews. During this campaign, Evans frequently visited Laughing Man Coffee and caught the attention of co-founders David and Barry Steingard. When presented with the chef's impressive plant-based bakery menu, the founders decided to open Laughing V next door.

Laughing V cafe’s menu features a selection of deluxe vegan baked goods, sandwiches, pastries, and other sides. Evan’s well-crafted menu includes vegan Philly Cheesesteaks, Tofu Caprese Sandwiches, and Portobello Mushroom Wraps. Some vegan baked goods will include whole wheat focaccia, Strawberry Matcha Linzer cookies, and palmiers.

The offshoot cafe has also gained significant attention since its opening in Tribeca. Local resident and regular customer Peter Nussbaum told VegNews that they felt “beyond excited” by the new vegan hotspot. Nussbaum and his wife Gabrielle operate a shelter for rescue animals from the food industry called Tamerlaine Sanctuary.

“When I moved here 25 years ago, egg and butter trucks were parked on this block every night,” Nussbaum said. “We were beyond excited to discover that an ethical vegan neighbor had opened a fully vegan café. I’ve already tried every sandwich on the menu and they’re all amazing.”

Laughing Man Coffee and Laughing V are located at 184 Duane St. New York, NY 10013, serving customers fresh baked goods and meals alongside prepared groceries. The small market offerings include dairy-free sauces, kettle corn, premade pasta, and vegan pate. Motivated by animal welfare, Evans’ new vegan venture aims to promote a better food system without animal involvement.

Rising Popularity of Vegan Baking

As plant-based goods increase in popularity, the Laughing Man founders intend to capitalize on this market in their first foray into the vegan industry. For plant-based sweets alone, vegan demand is rapidly rising. The global vegan dessert market is expected to grow at a 10 percent CAGR from 2020 to 2027, reaching nearly $6 billion by the end of the forecast period.

Consumers are looking for plant-based foods more than ever. Google revealed that in 2021, searches for “Vegan Food Near Me” grew by 5,000 percent. Now, Evan is working to improve the number of establishments that consumers can visit in Tribeca that serve delicious and healthy plant-based foods.

Last November, vegan cheese mogul Miyoko Schinner launched a Youtube Channel dedicated to teaching plant-based baking. Schinner – the owner of dairy alternative company Miyoko’s Creamery – launched The Vegan Butter Channel to help home cooks learn how to recreate their favorite baked goods and savory pastries at home with solely plant-based ingredients.

For tips to recreate your favorite baked goods at home, check out The Beet’s vegan baking guide.

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Fast-food restaurants have finally got the memo that their customer base isn’t just coming through for a burger, fried chicken, or a beef taco. Many now have plant-based foods and are coming up with creative, delicious ways to get more greens on the menu. Here are the 6 best fast-food chains with plant-based options on the menu.

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