Carolyn Simon is introducing Canada to the authentic flavors of Jamaican patties, but this staple of Jamaican cuisine has a twist. The patties are all vegan, utilizing plant-based proteins. Simon is the founder of Choose Life Foods, a Toronto, Canada-based company that offers vegan Jamaican patties created with organic, non-GMO, fair-trade ingredients.
Simon grew up eating traditional Jamaican patties. When she adopted a vegan lifestyle, she quickly discovered there was no vegan equivalent for the patties. The entrepreneur was determined not to give up one of her favorite foods and decided to make her own vegan version. She shared with family and friends and they were such a hit, the Toronto native decided to market them.
“The patties just launched in a couple of Health food stores in Toronto and the response has been very encouraging, so I’m happy that people are embracing the product. I grew up a 4 mins walk from Little Jamaica on the Eglinton West strip in Toronto, so I grew up loving Randy’s Patties. The vegan patties are a clean ingredients version, so no MSG, no food colour, etc. Now, it will never touch a Randy’s flake, however I think it is a tasty alternative for those looking to cut down on meat consumption and/or looking for a clean ingredients list. In my mind, no one should have to live without a patty! ” said Carolyn Simon founder of Choose Life Foods
Consumers can choose from her Coconut Kale Delight made with kale, carrots and coconut milk or the Beefless Lovers’ Patty of savory soy protein. The patties contain no refined sugars, trans fats, or artificial flavors or colors. Simon has also expanded her offerings to include cocktail size vegan bites for parties, weddings, corporate events, and similar gatherings.
Low gluten content spelt flour is used in the creation of the Jamaican vegan patties and a gluten-free option is planned for the future. Choose Life Foods cares about the planet and all the coconut oil that’s used is sourced from ethical, certified-sustainable palm oil obtained through fair trade.
Choose Life Foods vegan patties can be found at more than 20 health food stores throughout Toronto and over 100 locations in Quebec. Wholesale options are also available for cafes, cafeterias, the workplace and other retail businesses.
With the creation of her vegan Jamaican patties, Simon is carrying on a tradition of flavorful Jamaican dishes. She’s also expanding the offerings available to a growing number of vegans and those that care about eating healthier foods.