Reading Time: < 1 minute A facon burger from Hearts Choices Cafe Market (Photo: Facebook)
Reading Time: < 1 minute

The pairing of a vegan restaurant next to a butcher’s shop has been described as the battle of ‘bacon .v. facon’ in local media reports.

One of the two Hearts Choices Cafe Market outlets and Master Meats are in North East Calgary – aka ‘Cowtown’ – an area often considered to be very meaty.

According to news reports, in the year since Hearts Choices opened, numerous ‘double-takes and funny photos’ have been seen.

‘Quite funny’

Eahly Shirley, who co-owns Hearts Choices with his wife, Nan Thammanatr, told CBC: “It is quite funny. Sometimes it will be a couple and you’ll see them kind of split off and get their meat, and then afterwards, they’ll come [here] for lunch, which is pretty cool.”

The pair started selling vegetarian food in the city around seven years ago at Calgary Farmers’ Market. “People were telling us, ‘oh, you’re going to be vegetarian in Calgary? You’ll never make it’,” said Shirley.

The two businesses have said they are friends, with a mutual respect. Master Meats butcher John Wildenborg said: “If a butcher and a vegan cafe can get along, why can’t the rest of the world.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.