Morgan Myers intends to turn heads and drop jaws when she reaches middle age.

“I want to be fit and fine in my forties and fifties,” she says.

The Greensboro-based, multi-skilled event host adheres to a plant-based diet and eventually plans to practice an 80 percent raw/20 percent cooked foods diet to achieve her goals.

Myers began hosting the GSO Vegan Vendors Market on Feb. 6 when she noticed a need for a vegan food network in her circle.

“I know a lot of people that cook vegan food and I know a lot of people that have a need to eat vegan outside of myself,” she says.

Organizer Morgan Myers (courtesy photo)

She runs her own CommUnity Kitchen from home, serving affordable, plant-based meals, but as an efficient networker, she aimed to meet other business owners and expand the types of meals available.

Although her friend Earth Feathur has hosted two Live Vegan Food Festivals in downtown Greensboro so far, Myers wanted to offer more consistent access to these kinds of products.

“People need a resource,” she says.

Eventually she met AP Lindsay and formed a partnership to use the LightHouse on S. Eugene St.— his event space he describes as a “beacon of light in the community” — for the market. It aligns with Lindsay’s own goals for Greensboro and the surrounding areas.

“Part of my community engagement programs include healthy living and eating,” he says.

Every other Sunday, the LightHouse becomes a health-conscious experience that can be both tasty and educational Myers says.

“A lot of people that want to try plant-based if they’re not already vegan, or even if they are, they don’t have the time or energy to learn how to make their own recipes,” she says. “They need a place where they can come and try stuff.”

Myers stresses that people should opt for fresh vegan meals before jumping to conclusions about their flavor.

“They’re eating a lot of processed or fast-food vegan food, and they’re turned off by it,” she says. “People can come to something like this where they’re using natural, fresh ingredients and the food is made with love.”

Inside the LightHouse, a DJ blasts R&B hits from the ‘70s from speakers against the stage. About ten different vendors offer skin care products, copper jewelry and other items made from natural resources.

In addition to vegan foods, the market boasts plant-based and cruelty free products like jewelry too. (photo by Michaela Ratliff)

Copacetic Vibes, a spiritual smoke shop based in Winston-Salem, sets up their wares on a table decorated with glass pipes, dreamcatchers and meditation guides. Patrons indulge in alkaline strawberry banana pudding jars from Eating2Live, a Greensboro-based vegan soul food and dessert company. A myriad of visitors to enjoy their meals and relax at round dining tables placed near the center of the room.

Mercedes Cedeno Mason, owner of Collage to Heirloom, proudly displays her self-proclaimed “eczema love line” at her booth. Her colorfully painted Styrofoam heads with their textured skin in all hues, were inspired by her granddaughter who suffers from eczema. The tops of the head are cut out to make room for a potted plant, which poses as the “hair” on the Styrofoam head.

Planter heads made out of Styrofoam. (photo by Michaela Ratliff)

Delvon Peterson, an attendee at the market, believes Greensboro doesn’t cater to the vegan/vegetarian community too often, so the market was a pleasant change.

“It was nice to see other businesses that are vegan-friendly that are around that I otherwise wouldn’t have had exposure to,” Peterson says.

As a vegetarian, he’s no stranger to raised eyebrows when he reveals his food choices. To him, the market is an enjoyable, judgment-free zone.

“There are times where I talk about my diet and get funny looks so it’s nice to be able to go somewhere and talk freely and know you’re not going to get any funny looks, just helpful advice and tips,” he says.

He believes that whether you’re vegan or not, there’s nothing wrong with making your diet a little healthier. The market can also serve as an enlightening experience for those less knowledgeable about the foods they eat.

“Knowing more about what you’re putting into your body, to me, seems to only be beneficial so having an opportunity and a space to go where people are really informed about what they’re telling you is important for any community,” Peterson says.

The GSO Vegan Vendors market is held biweekly on Sundays at The LightHouse at 1325 S. Eugene Street in Greensboro. Learn more about the market on Facebook.

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