Voxtails. Yep, you guessed it… Vegan Oxtails. That recipe and other Caribbean dishes on the menu is making Bad Gyal Vegan Restaurant in Bedstuy Brooklyn a very popular spot.
Chyna Love is the woman behind it all. I had the chance to catch up with her to talk about her success (after being in business for less than a year) and her very bright future.
VSC: Without giving away recipe, what is in your Voxtails?
Chyna: Lol, it is a proprietary blend. But I can say their are over 10 organic green vegetables and zero soy and never any processed ingredients.
VSC: What are people saying about your Voxtails?
Chyna: The word is that BGV and the Voxtail has changed the game completely. I have followers all over the world who have come from as far as London to eat my food. The support has been absolutely a dream come true. Just imagine I launched BGV in January of this year. It has literally grown legs and ran. People are acting like I’m a celebrity, over 13k organic followers in 6 months . They absolutely love it.
VSC: How did the idea for Bad Gyal Vegan come about?
Chyna: The dish came before the business name and idea …. once I perfected the dish I had to choose a name. I was torn between Bitchy Vegan or BAD Gyal and I created the acronym for B.A.D. And it was perfect.
VSC: What has been the best compliment that you have received about your Voxtails.
Chyna: Everyone can’t believe how realistic the texture is … and how authentic the gravy is, but the most common compliment is about the fatty texture of the Voxtail that truly resembles meat.
VSC: How has the Bed Stuy community responded to Bad Gyal Vegan?
Chyna: The Bed Stuy community has given us sooo much love and the response has been surreal. Our restaurant was open only 2 months and the traffic and the line every day, from the time we opened to the time we closed at night, was crazy.
VSC: How important is it for you to make vegan Caribbean food?
Chyna: It is the main objective and my overall motivation since it all started. Keeping my culture alive and keeping the flavors and textures authentic to my Jamaican/Caribbean roots. It’s a game changer to say the least .
VSC: How do you juggle being an entrepreneur and a single mother of two kids?
Chyna: It is an unbelievably challenging yet awarding life! It’s a constant test of my patience but nothing motivates me more then my 2 princesses. To know that they are watching me and growing with me and this business is truly amazing to me . They have already started their own little bead business. They keep me going. I can’t forget to mention I do have my mom who has been a major support system. My kids don’t feel like they are missing anything.
VSC: Where do you hope to see Bad Gyal Vegan go in the next five years?
Chyna: I see soo many amazing things, such a distribution deal or manufacturing our products in house. I would love to have a cooking show and write cook books. That will happen. Traveling the word encouraging and empowering women to take control of their health and wealth is my life’s purpose.
VSC: What can you tell me about your efforts to ship nationally?
Chyna: Since day one we have been getting request to ship the Voxtail. We have been delivering locally, but the demand from as far as California has been overwhelming and it’s been very hard to say no to so many people who want the Voxtail. Shipping food especially perishable food is a tricky process so we have been testing and I think we are finally ready to launch our nationwide shipping. Of course there will likely be mistakes made, but we are ready to take on the challenge so we can meet the demand that is so obvious and apparent. I am tired of getting cussed out about shipping this Voxtail to people who have been following since day one, lol.
VSC: Where are you on vegan journey?
Chyna: My personal vegan journey is full of ups and downs and many challenges. I come from a world of fitness, protein, and carb free diets… I.e. chicken breast and broccoli, lol. So it’s been very hard to adjust. But the feeling I get eating plant-based… the mental clarity… the heightened mental consciousness… the weight loss… and the energy that comes with maintaining and sticking to a plant-based diet is worth it, completely. I make sure that I get enough plant-based protein and drink a lot of water and I’m fine. I feel great when I stay away from processed and refined carbs. My transition hasn’t been smooth, but it’s worth it .
Visit Bad Gyal Vegan for more on their regular and catering menu and follow @BadGyalVegan on Instagram for restaurant updates.