Last weekend I headed out to Boston for the 16th annual Boston Vegetarian Festival. Fully rested and armed with free tote bags and samples of Smart Dogs and Gimme Lean Sausage, I started the weekend off with a smile on my face, ready for action. I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for what I was about to experience though! The week leading up to the event was anything but quiet. We had thousands of samples ordered, boxes of goodies shipped to the event, and recipe cards printed by the hundreds in preparation for the big weekend. We knew we were about to meet thousands of veggie friendly people, but we certainly weren’t prepared for the passion we found living in Boston!
Let’s just say I’ve never seen a crowd of people so enthusiastic for vegetarian food before! The minute the doors opened on day one, the crowds rushed in, and twenty minutes later we had a line for our table that went down to the other side of auditorium!
It didn’t matter that it was ten o’clock in the morning, people wanted their Smart Dogs! 😉I had the pleasure of standing and talking to everyone who came through our line all weekend; listening to story after story of why people are vegetarians or why they choose Lightlife. Even though there was a room filled with vegan goodies for me to try, hearing everyone’s stories was actually the highlight of my weekend. I met some individuals who have been fans of Lightlife for the past 30 years, and others who were trying our samples for the very first time. The consensus was in though – our Smart Dogs and Gimme Lean were a hit. One woman said to me as she walked by to get her sample, “You guys are the most popular booth here, I waited at least 45 minutes but it is worth it!” Talk about devotion! Or – my favorite comment of the weekend – “This is my third hotdog today! Love it love it love it!” 🙂
From families who rely on Smart Dogs to feed their kids, to veteran vegans who adore our tempeh, it seemed everyone had a Lightlife story that they were dying to share. A couple of families actually told me that they were at the festival because their child is a vegetarian and they are trying to learn what else they can cook for them at home. “We aren’t the vegetarians in the family, this little one is and he hooked us on your Smart Dogs – we were glad when we saw you were here!” – said one family who stopped by with their young son. It’s pretty exciting to see a whole new generation going meat free right from the beginning.It’s always encouraging to hear that Lightlife truly means a lot to some folks – people knew who we were and were thrilled to see us participating in their community event. We aren’t just a company that makes vegetarian hot dogs, we play a roll helping our fans make the recipes they know and love!
While Smart Dogs were definitely popular, our Gimme Lean Sausage seemed to surprise the majority who came through to try it.Believe it or not, I had to convince several people that I wasn’t trying to trick them into eating real meat! I would never dream of doing anything along those lines, but it was pretty funny that a few were convinced I was pulling one over on them!
Perhaps the best part about the whole festival, was meeting bloggers just like me who couldn’t wait to get back to their computers to tell their followers all about the festival. I’m working on reading everyone else’s recaps right now – I plan on posting a round-up of everyone I met there later this week so stay tuned!
Did you see us at the Boston Vegetarian Festival last weekend? If not, what VegFest near you would you like to see us at next?
Lightlife Team Member