Good Vegan Eatin’

Photo by Erica Ascher.

If you have been wishing for more vegan options in New Paltz, your wish has been heard by Lagusta’s Luscious.

Co-owners Lagusta Yearwood and Jacob Feinberg recently opened Commissary, their second shop in New Paltz dedicated to serving vegan coffee addicts.

Yearwood opened the new shop on Church St., around the corner from Lagusta’s Luscious, to expand on her savory treats, such as homemade vegan cheese and miso sesame caramels.

Yearwood opened her shop driven by her vegan background and to attract an ever-expanding niche clientele growing in New Paltz and most everywhere else.

Their goal for the new shop is to offer what they make to the town and village.

According to their website, they are “a completely vegan business committed to sustainability without sacrifice.”

Committed to social justice, Yearwood,  an environmentalist and an animal rights activist, has been a vegan for about 23 years and has been selling her vegan treats since 2003.

“It’s how we live, drink, cook, and eat,” Feinberg said.

As a co-owner and coffee addict himself, Feinberg enjoys traveling the world to find new vegan and coffee shops. He collects cookbooks to bring back and places them on a shelf behind the bar in Commissary.

Feinberg became a vegan about two years ago for health and environmental purposes, similar to Yearwood. His favorite menu item at Commissary is the slushie because of how refreshing it is and its constantly changing flavor.

Rachel, an employee at Commissary, recently moved to New Paltz and started working at the coffee shop. As a vegan herself, she raves about the menu items and the idea of being a vegan.

“What’s great about being a vegan is that it’s all inclusive and the food didn’t come from anyone’s suffering,” she said.

Rachel spoke about Commissary’s seasonal specials that got positive feedback from customers.

“We hosted a pizza night that took a long time to prepare for,” she said. “We made homemade mozzarella cheese from nuts and it was delicious.”

Yearwood and Feinberg were excited as to both the size of and support from the community.

Jared Peer, a fourth-year art education and sculpture major, heard about the opening of Commissary from his friend. As an aspiring vegan, he was excited to hear that he had more food and drink options in his college town.

“It takes a great deal of dedication to be vegan, but overall it’s worth it for the health benefits and the fight against animal cruelty,” Peer said.

Peer enjoyed a vegan iced caramel latte with homemade cashew milk as well as a chocolate caramel.

“You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy Commissary,” Peer said. “Everything on the menu is made with care for the environment.”

Yearwood also recently opened a shop in New York City called Confectionery located in the East Village. She and Feinberg hope to someday be a nationwide business.

“Each coffee shop brings something different,” Feinberg said. “The New Paltz community is happy and excited for us.”