Los Angeles-centered vegan icons Heather Golden Ray and Jenny Engel, also known as the “Spork Sisters,” have championed the vegan way of living through their cooking faculty for an spectacular 16 many years. Just lately, they stepped onto a new stage of culinary innovation with the grand opening of their most up-to-date undertaking, a vegan cafe named Hey, Sunshine Kitchen area. 

Ray and Engel, the driving forces driving the plant-based mostly food firm and cooking university Spork Food items, in the beginning created waves in 2007 by imparting their culinary knowledge via vegan cooking classes in Los Angeles. 

Quickly, their cooking school expanded from smaller gatherings in their Silver Lake condominium kitchen area to a bigger house in West Hollywood.


But their journey did not prevent there it blossomed into cooking demonstrations, finest-offering vegan cookbooks, and now, the realization of a long-held dream—a vegan restaurant.

The launch of a vegan cafe

The path to Hey, Sunshine Kitchen area was not devoid of worries, as the strategy of opening a cafe typically met with skepticism due to its perceived risks. However, for Ray and Engel, the venture was more than just a small business determination it was a contacting. 

“For far more than 15 a long time, we educated home cooks and cooks at resorts, inns, and universities. We have always envisioned that we would begin a restaurant endeavor together,” Ray tells VegNews. “We arrived up with the concept for Hey, Sunshine Kitchen area as a way to promote healthier having inside of our local community.”

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Their desire of bringing Hey, Sunshine Kitchen area to everyday living started four years ago at a trade exhibit in Dallas, TX. “We played with so a lot of iterations of the menu for a long time,” Ray claims. “We had a plant-dependent barbecue idea at 1st, but in the long run landed on what Hey, Sunshine Kitchen area is currently.”

“We wished to create a space exactly where anyone, no subject their dietary choice, could delight in flavorsome, modern, and hearty plant-primarily based foods,” Ray states. 

In point, Ray and Engel came up with the title, Hey Sunshine Kitchen, at a Denver, CO cafe referred to as Linger—and, ironically, all through a thunderstorm. “If you ever try to eat there you could see the painting that inspired our identify,” Ray hints.

Nourishing the LA neighborhood

Located in the heart of Culver City, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen emerged as the manifestation of their lifelong enthusiasm. A meticulously curated menu features an array of vegan choices, together with clean salads, hearty sandwiches, nourishing bowls, and delectable vegan desserts.

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The choices contain the Avocado Crunch Salad, that includes sesame-crusted avocado, dried cranberries, sweet potato, and a cornucopia of other nutritious components. Ray and Engel’s personalized preferred is the Mediterranean Chickpea Heat Bowl, with a griddled dwelling-manufactured chickpea patty, caramelized onions, shredded carrots, marinated beets, cucumber, sunflower seeds, clean mint, massaged kale, house pickles, and a creamy lemon herb aioli. 

Comfort meals aficionados are not still left driving, as Hey, Sunshine Kitchen area caters to their cravings with dishes such as the Crispy Rooster Sandwich and Vintage Cheeseburger. For a sweet handle, Ray claims their Rainbow Chocolate Chip Cookie features a “unique and whimsical acquire on the basic chocolate chip cookie.”

With these a varied menu, Ray and Engel want to welcome anyone.

“We identify that consuming plant-primarily based can be a challenge,” Ray claims. “Some could discover it complicated to alter to the flavor and texture of plant-based mostly solutions or might have constrained obtain to these selections.”

“At Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, we hope to deliver plant-based, 100-p.c non-GMO choices that are mouth watering to all, regardless of no matter if they observe a plant-dependent diet program or not,” she suggests. 

Dedicated to the environment

Hey, Sunshine Kitchen’s mission extends outside of the menu. In collaboration with Buddies of Ballona Wetlands, the sisters embarked on an initiative to showcase pollinator-pleasant vegetation on their patio, inviting the neighborhood to partake in their environmentally mindful attempts. 

For every entrée obtained on Mondays, patrons obtain a complimentary plant, solidifying the restaurant’s motivation to nurturing equally its patrons and the planet. “At Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, we are also committed to leaving the earth in a much better position for our little ones,” Ray suggests.

In addition to furthering the vegan motion in LA, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen area stands as a testomony to the electricity of determination, the significance of neighborhood assist, and the prospective of vegan cuisine. 

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And even while Ray and Engel are not onsite every day as they keep on to oversee various factors of the business, Ray states they have a focused crew that is challenging at work setting up Hey, Sunshine Kitchen area as a will have to-visit Los Angeles place.

“We really like to appear into the room as commonly as possible to hook up with our crew and buyers, obtain feed-back, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere,” Engel states. “This permits us to continue to be intently linked to the heart and soul of the restaurant whilst also operating on its very long-term growth and good results.”

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