This past Saturday, Bushwick enjoyed its first annual vegan food and lifestyle festival at LightSpace Studios. The event, which went from 10 AM – 6 PM, drew huge crowds from all over Brooklyn and showcased local vegan vendors, speakers, and raffles sponsored by vegan favorites such as by Chloe and Blossom Du Jour.

The event was conceptually distinct from other vegan-centric events in Bushwick in that the organizers sought to make the event affordable with the intention of presenting a healthy, plant based diet as something anyone can achieve. The organization put its money where its mouth is by donating all of the proceeds raised from donations and raffle tickets to EcoStation NY, a Bushwick-based nonprofit organization that leads sustainable urban farming programs to empower youth and improve access to fresh food in the community.

Founder Elizabeth Walsh was inspired to start Plant-Based Bushwick after completing the Self-Expression Leadership Project (SELP) through Landmark Worldwide, a company that offers personal development programs. “I’ve been vegan for a year and it’s been incredibly transformative,” Walsh tells Bushwick Daily. “I wanted to make a difference in this community since there are a lot of issues with Type 2 Diabetes and other health problems,” Elizabeth explained. Her hope is to make PBB an annual event; based on Saturday’s turnout, it doesn’t seem like she’ll be having any trouble getting people to show up next year.

The Bushwick Food Cooperative, which is located around the corner from Lightspace, was among the local organizations that represented at the festival. Coop members at the table walked festival goers through the Coop’s membership policies, reminding them that non-members are also free to shop at the Bushwick Food Coop, a decision made to ensure that the coop is accessible to people who may not have time to volunteer every month.