Get your Vegan Fix at Eden
By Leandria Hercules, Staff Writer
Not all good food has to have animal products. Within the past few years, vegan options have become more common and accessible in the food scene, from fast food places having meat alternatives to a larger variety of substitutes in the store rather than blocks of tofu and soy milk.
In 2008, Eden- A Vegan Cafe opened its first storefront at 344 Adams Ave. and now has another location at 136 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre. Eden is a 100% vegan cafe that specializes in American comfort food.
During an on-site interview, Chef Brett Stevens and counter employee Rebecca Rose explained some notes about Eden- A Vegan Cafe.
“The owner wants to bring veganism to the area. He was a vegan back in the mid 90s and there weren’t any options in downtown Scranton. … He wanted to bring that to people,” said Stevens in regard to Eden’s history.
Rose described Eden’s atmosphere as “a small cafe.” There’s a seating area filled with tables and a counter against the cafe’s large front windows. Locally created art hangs on the walls while plants hang from the intricate, dimmed golden ceilings. Splashes of natural greenery fill the room, keeping the atmosphere calm and open.
“Different walks of life. We get a little bit of everything,” Stevens mentioned in regard to the demographic of the cafe, which consists of “anyone who’s vegan and even those who aren’t. We get all kinds of customers, all kinds of age groups, ethnicities, I mean, walks of life.”
Some of the products are locally sourced, including a few of the desserts such as the house-made chocolate peanut butter and banana bread. Other desserts are outsourced.
Eden- A Vegan Cafe uses various meat substitutions, including tempeh, soy, Beyond Meat,
and pea protein. The cafe also uses naturally-whole proteins such as black beans and chickpeas for some of their menu items, such as wraps and sandwiches.
Rose and Stevens said one of the most popular menu items is the chicken drumsticks and wraps. The
chicken drumsticks consist of soy protein and are wrapped in tofu skin; they are then slathered in either buffalo or barbeque sauce.
Eden also offers catering for special events, including holidays. This past Thanksgiving, they had the opportunity to sell 216 servings of Tofurky roast, including various sides and desserts.
“We do offer catering and we do offer holiday catering. The holidays … we do those specifically. We advertise those and … there’s usually a good turnout for that. But we do do catering for any kind of event,” says Stevens.
Features change out monthly depending on the season. Their rushes tend to be in the afternoons for lunch and toward dinner time on weekend nights. Eden also offers a student discount of 10%.
If people are interested and are unfamiliar with vegan food, both Rose and Stevens recommend the Beyond Burger, chicken cheesesteak or any of the chicken substitute options.
“I’d probably say the Beyond Burger … or like the chicken and steak. The chicken is generally like a good introduction if you’re not really used to a lot of eating alternatives,” says Rose.
Eden’s end goal is to become a franchise. The establishment plans to become similar to a vegan version of the well-known American fast-food chain Mcdonald’s.
“Ideally … the end goal is to franchise. So hopefully, one day down the road … we’ll kind of be like the vegan McDonald’s. You know?” says Stevens, with Eden’s future plans in mind.
Eden- A Vegan Cafe welcomes everyone from vegans to non-vegans. Good comfort food
with good ingredients and service makes up Eden’s goal of becoming a franchise. The hours for the Scranton location are Tuesdays-Thursdays 11:30 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Fridays-Saturdays 11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. Feel free to connect with the establishment on Facebook at Eden- A Vegan Cafe for any inquires and the full menu.