I met Jaime Karpovich at the Easton Farmers' Market Winter Market and was knocked out by her enthusiasm and effervescence. We discussed "Save The Kales" (her vegan blog--you can find it on Facebook or at https://savethekales.wordpress.com/tag/jaime-karpovich/) and how being a vegan is not just for the fringe anymore. Here's how she started over in Easton:
"I got out of a relationship, needed a fresh start, came to Easton--I wanted to move to Easton for about two years now--lived in Bethlehem for ten. I just felt like the community here was very sincere. I felt like there was cooperation, not competition. There's just a vibe that I fell in love with. It's been amazing, and every time I've gone out so far in the last month since I've moved, I walk into a place knowing one person and I leave knowing ten. Everyone is so friendly."
"Tell me about your blog."
"It's a vegan lifestyle blog; I do recipes. I also have a column in Lehigh Valley Style called 'Fresh Perspectives' where I talk about people and things and creative stuff around the Lehigh Valley. I also have a TV show called 'Save The Kales' which airs on RCN cable. It's going to start airing in Washington DC, and we're on Roku and YouTube."
"I was a terrible vegan, so what's your best advice for someone who wants to try the vegan lifestyle but feels like they probably can't hack it?"
"I think that now is an easier time than ever. Restaurants are very accommodating. Last night I was at Black and Blue here in Easton; they have a vegan lasagna on the menu, vegan nachos… I think it used to be that people thought it was weird and somehow insulting to them as a chef to make food, and now they're sort of embracing that there's flavors and spices and textures and herbs and you can do so many creative things. So I think a lot of chefs are getting more excited about the opportunity to explore."
"Has vegan cheese improved? That was my stumbling block..."
"Oh, yeah. It really has. It's amazing what you can do with cashews!"
These are the stories of the people of Easton, PA