Last week I had the pleasure of going to LA for work. Its been 10 years since I’ve been to LA, and I’m not really certain why its been that long, but for a variety of reasons I just haven’t been back. I was pretty excited to be headed back out though. California folks know and understand a thing or two about being vegan. Its just more readily understood and I was excited about the prospect of some good food. I didn’t make it to many places that I was hoping would be within reach, because of work, but I’ll be back. That being said, I did have some great experiences. At the very top of this list is my surprise visit to Beyond Meat.
The first day I was in town the rest of the group of guys I was with went to the California Fish Grill but I was quite alright with that because 2 doors down was Veggie Grill. I was EXCITED! I loved Veggie Grill the one time that I went in Seattle. So I went in, ordered up some food and of course Instagramed a picture of the entrance. I also shared that to twitter, and later in the day, Jackie was SUPER excited and raving in text form that I had to go check the Twitter notifications. Beyond Meat had responded and told me that I totally had to come check them out. Here I was staying in El Segundo and I had NO idea that Beyond Meat was headquartered there. We’re talking such a cool thing to get a personal shout out.
I wasn’t sure anything was going to work out, I mean I was in LA to do work, so I was kinda bummed and figured that it just wasn’t going to work. The next day I worked all day, but got done about 5:30. I went to the hotel and changed into some running gear and figured I’d go and see where the building was. That would still be neat to me. I ran 2 miles and finally found it. It looked like it might be closed so I snapped a picture and went around the side, and low and behold there were a few people still milling around.
I said hi and explained that I was told on Twitter to come check them out. Justin runs the social media area of Beyond Meat and was out for the day, but these guys were so gracious. They talked to me, told me a bit about the company, and got Justin on the phone. He was so excited and asked me to try to come back later in the week. I said I’d see what could happen but I just wasn’t sure I could make it work. They hooked me up with a t-shirt though and I went on my very happy way back to the hotel.
Fast forward to Thursday. Jackie had been making a twitter post back to Jimmy Fallon’s Hashtag of the day and got a response from Beyond Meat asking what in the world happened (6 years ago camping we had some flooding and our car broken into in the same day… crazy), so they wondered where it happened since I had been in LA. (The joys of sharing a twitter account.) They responded to her and told her to get me a text and tell me to get back there because they had some stuff for her and me. And they wanted to introduce me to the whole team.
I managed to find a way over lunch to get back there.
The people are so great, I got to meet the entire team which genuinely seemed very happy to have me there and get a bit of a lay of the land. I talked to Justin for a good half an hour. The picture below is a selfie of me and Justin… What a great guy (in the half hour I got to talk to him. :))
I’m so excited about the Beyond Meat product and after meeting the people behind it, I’m even more excited. They’ve got some cool things coming, and I’m going to keep trying to make killer recipes using it. I got home and had to make something using Beyond Meat. So I took Bake and Destroy’s Totcho Recipe, changed a few minor things with her normal Cheeze sauce and put it all together with Fiesty Beyond Beef. EPIC!
It was a really great surprise and a highlight of my trip. They’ve hooked me up with a bunch of coupons for free product, and I want to pay it forward. Leave a comment with your favorite Beyond Meat creation or what you’d like to try with the product (Please leave an email address as well) and I’ll pick a random winner Friday, July 18th that will get a couple of them sent to you in the mail. For those of you that don’t win, have no fear, we’ve got a link here to save you some valuable dough on Beyond Meat products as well.
What are you waiting for, get out there and get cooking…Oh and bring on the BEAST!