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Organic, vegan bodega LaRayia’s Bodega has opened its first location outside Los Angeles with an outpost on the first floor of Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall, according to an announcement this week.
Founder LaRayia Gaston previously worked in film and spent 43 days living on LA’s Skid Row as part of a documentary she directed. Following her experience, she founded the non-profit Love Without Reason, which runs Lunch On Me, an “initiative dedicated to ending starvation while providing opportunities to enrich the mind, body, and spirit of homeless communities” in LA and now, Atlanta.
Every month, Lunch on Me serves 10,000 organic meals six days a week to people on Skid Row, and in Atlanta, the non-profit hands out free vegan food at Woodruff Park every Friday.
Continuing her philanthropic passions, Gaston opened the first LaRayia’s Bodega in LA’s Westlake neighborhood in August of 2019 to provide nutritious, inexpensive meals and snacks to anyone who needs them; every item costs less than $5 at the LA location thanks to donations from companies like Healthade and Sakara Life.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with Caribbean and Puerto Rican influences, LaRayia’s Bodega’s Atlanta location offers a fruit- and vegetable-forward menu with vegan breakfast items like overnight oats and parfaits, bites like Jamaican Jerk Jackfruit Tacos with mango salsa and Vegan Ceviche, along with hearty vegan comfort foods like chili, cornbread, and collard greens. Specials will change throughout the year with items such as soups and salads of the day featuring seasonal produce.
To drink, guests can choose from assorted juices, lemonades, and teas like Black Girl Magic Lemonade with activated charcoal and Moon Tea, LaRayia’s spin on a vegan Thai tea. Beverages will come in a branded bottle specific to the bodega’s Atlanta location.
“We want to make it easy to eat vegan and feel good,” Gaston said. “Our aim is to take familiar recipes and pump them up a notch with ingredients made from the freshest produce. We can’t wait to bring some of what we love from our Los Angeles bodega to Atlanta and support the local homeless community through Lunch on Me.”
In addition to food, guests will be able to purchase branded merchandise such as hoodies, tees, bucket hats, and more.