Dan & Nicole from Upton’s Naturals

The other day I came across a link to an article on “10 Vegan Power couples”, which I read through and thoroughly enjoyed!  I loved reading about how some of these people turned their passion into a business and that they did it together.  Super cute and inspiring.  The article was posted on veganweddings.com which of course I had to check out, and I loved everything I saw.  Though Im not getting married anytime soon, my best friend from high school will be married later this year and I can’t help but look stuff up and send her links. Anyways, after reading the article I really wanted to share it here, so I emailed to ask if that would be alright and Kristin from VeganWeddings.com was kind enough to email me back quickly and give me the go-ahead.

I love Upton’s Natural’s seitan, so heres a snippet from their interview:

How did you meet?
Nicole: I had somewhat recently relocated to Chicago and found myself at a local veg fest. I happened upon the Upton’s Naturals booth, where they were selling vegan empanadas. It just so happened that earlier that week I had expressed a desire for that particular food. I made small talk with Dan and the other guys at the booth while my food was being prepared and that was that (or was it?).

A few months later, I was organizing a fundraiser in Chicago for the non-profit Pinups for Pitbulls. I remembered how friendly the Upton’s Naturals staff was and contacted them about a donation. No reply. However, several months later, I got an email from Dan apologizing for missing my email and offering a donation for a future event. It just so happened that another was in the works. We met up so that I could pick up the wraps and ended up out eating falafel. A couple of days later, he was making me dinner at his house. We had both just gotten out of long term relationships and the timing and chemistry was just too perfect to ignore. We’ve been together ever since.

Why vegan?
Dan: At 15 I decided I couldn’t deny any of the key issues for veganism any longer; animal rights, health and environment.

Nicole: I began as a vegan in 1996 and at this point, it’s just such a part of my life that I can’t imagine living any other way. I love and respect all beings so completely that I could never consider them commodities. My choice to embrace veganism is one of compassion for humans, animals, and the planet.

Why did you decide to go into business together?
Nicole: Shortly after we started dating I was laid off at my job in publishing and just as my unemployment was coming to an end, Dan asked if I could help out around the office a couple days a week. A couple of days turned into three days, then four, then five. I started as an occasional independent contractor and now I literally live in the same building as the business (and I’ve been promoted to Vice President).

What’s the best part of working together?
Dan: It’s nice to have something we’re so passionate about, in common. On behalf of the business, we enjoy traveling together, and other business owners and clients we meet along the way get to know us both, which is nice.

Nicole: We have the best time doing what we do. Even through the parts that are less enjoyable, none of this ever seems like work. We’re both just moving through life together doing exactly what we are meant to do.

How awesome is that!  While Ive been vegan for nearly 10 years, my boyfriend John went vegetarian 2 years ago.  I didn’t even know he had made the switch, it was just so gradual and he was no longer eating meat at home. He had decided for himself at some point but never made a fuss about it, and I just figured he wasn’t eating it as much until one day, a few months later he declared he was a vegetarian and I had no idea!  Whoops!  Its so nice when you can share meals and beliefs with those who are closest to you.
Anyways, there are a lot of other awesome couples featured in the article and all of their stories are inspiring.  Check it out here!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s