If Spiral Diner is a beacon, Christina Bluford was a ship lost at sea.
She went vegan about 12 years ago when she read the book “Skinny Bitch”, which addresses animal cruelty and pollution that the livestock industry causes.
Demand for beef, pork and chicken all over the world creates air and water pollution, and raising animals for meat takes up far more land than crops.
Including the massive amounts of crops that livestock consume, about 80 percent of farmland in the United States is dedicated to meat.
“I was living in Fort Worth, and I thought I was the only vegan in Texas, and then I discovered Spiral Diner,” Bluford says. “It’s funny how much Spiral has affected my life.”
She moved to the Bishop Arts area five years ago to work for that seminal vegan restaurant, and she doesn’t have a car.
Oak Cliff was perfect for her.
About three years ago, Bluford took over social media for Spiral. And that’s also when she started V Market.
“I saw a need in the community,” she says. “There was only one event a year for vegan vendors.”
That’s the Texas Veggie Fair, which this year is Nov. 2 at the Dallas Farmers Market. There are vegan vendors, including cheese makers and soul food purveyors at the farmers market and Good Local Markets.
Bluford wanted a market just for the vegan crowd of makers, caterers and cooks. V Market was an instant hit. She hoped she’d sign up at least five vendors, but there were 15 at the first one. Now the markets have as many as 25, and she puts on about three a year.
There’s a joke that goes: “If you’re a vegan and you rescue dogs, how do you decide which one to talk about first?”
Vegans can be zealous about their dietary choices. There is snobbery sometimes.
She and business partner Courtney Garza started a social media marketing company Sprinkles Creative, which mostly represents brands around plant-based eating, and sometimes they do V Market pop-ups for parties and corporate events.
Bluford doesn’t work at Spiral anymore, although she still considers herself part of the family.
Next, she’s working to start a nonprofit to raise money for causes like the environment and greening up the food desert.
Right now, she’s busy with her vegan-focused social media startup. It’s already taking off.