In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Black-owned grocery store NoPigNeva went live this year to bring hard-to-find vegan groceries to consumers nationwide. The Boston-based company aims to encourage consumers to shop plant-based, making vegan foods more accessible for everyone. Founders Stephnia Bernard and David Hue realized that vegan products can prove difficult to get in certain regions in the United States and felt motivated to change that availability.

“The inspiration for NoPigNega came from frustration with the limited vegan options from my local grocery store,” Bernard told VegNews. The pandemic really highlighted the fact that vegan options were not a priority to the big boys [grocery chains], so I decided to create a place where delicious, vegan food is the priority. Some of my favorite vegan foods are from small vegan companies who, for whatever reason, are not carried by all of the giant chains. I want to highlight those brands, not only because they’re delicious but also to support small businesses.”

Bernard launched this business following her decision to adopt a plant-based diet five years ago. She initially dropped meat and animal products after discovering the depth of animal cruelty in factory farming and animal agriculture. Alongside Bernard, Hue decided to change his diet for health reasons. The company was then founded to spread the widespread benefits of a plant-based diet, highlighting everything from nutrition to sustainability.

“Whether the reason is due to health restrictions, morals, dietary needs, or personal choice - it’s ultimately just a lifestyle,” NoPigNeva’s mission statement reads. “We aim to defuse the stereotypes associated with a plant-based lifestyle by providing products that allow people to conveniently enjoy delicious vegan food.”

The online store offers a wide selection of diverse products from both big and small companies scattered across the United States. The detail that separates this online grocery store is that it brings these vegan goods to consumers all over the country, allowing for people who live in areas with typically minimal vegan options to purchase these plant-based products. The store features products from Miyoko’s Creamer, Impossible Burgers, vegan lobster from May Wah, Abe’s Muffins, and so much more.

The website also features a blog that helps consumers shop for specific vegan recipes. The blog highlights the potential of plant-based eating, giving shoppers inspiration for any meal of the day without using or buying any animal products. The online grocery store hopes to promote the plant-based lifestyle by showcasing how delicious plant-based food can be.

The online grocery store will also be offering two membership programs for shoppers. The first is the $9.99 Monthly Explorer that will give shippers a 10-percent discount on groceries, and the second is the $99.99 Annual Blockbuster Membership that gives shoppers a $20-off deal compared to month-to-month. The Blockbuster Membership also provides a 10 percent discount on all orders, exclusive deals and updates, and a tote bag. No matter where in the United States, consumers will be able to reap the benefits of the Boston-based store and expand their plant-based eating.