You never forget your first taste of Allison’s Gourmet, organic vegan dessert from the heavens. I still recall with longing the birthday package filled with chocolaty brownies and cookies sent by my mom eight years ago, when fantastic vegan desserts were not as common. The gift meant more knowing the treats were dreamed up by Allison Rivers Samson, a lovely woman I had met at a vegetarian event.
Today, the company’s widened vegan dessert range includes everything from brittle to peppermint patties to fair trade hot cocoa, sending anyone with a sweet tooth into Willy Wonka bliss. And all this creative genius stems from Samson, who became vegetarian in 1989 and vegan in 1997.
“Becoming vegan was one of the biggest turning points in my life and one of the best choices I ever made,” said Samson.
Being vegan outside of a large city can be challenging, but four health food stores are near the small community by the Sierra Nevada Mountains where Samson lives with her husband David and daughter Olivia. Samson is also studying how to garden veganically, with mixed results.
The vegan family enjoys making food at home, like the Tuna-free Sandwich recipe created for Samson’s column, “Veganize It!” in VegNews Magazine. A few other veggie-friendly websites Samson frequents are The GirlieGirl Army and VegFamily.
In addition to writing a column, running a successful business for the last 14 years, and being a mom, Samson practices Nia, a movement form that incorporates dance, martial arts, and healing arts. She also teaches cooking classes occasionally. Her favorite class was at the preschool where Olivia is the only vegan and the other children were astonished they could make ‘cheese’ out of vegetables and all devoured Samson’s mac ‘n cheese.
People are much more willing to try vegan dessert and foods these days, Samson said, partly because vegan products have come a long way and people have greater exposure to the benefits of veganism.
“I really love that I get to do my passion every day, which is of course, creating and tasting yummy foods!” said Samson.
Vegan dessert lovers can rest assured there will be more to come from Allison’s Gourmet, including gluten-free products and other surprises!