We caught up with Tania Laine, founder of the hottest trending vegan establishment in the Capital Region right now, Birch Bark Eatery (21 Ridge Street, Glens Falls, NY).
Birch Bark has quickly become one of the most beloved vegan establishments in the Capital Region. Can you tell us what sparked your desire to open a vegan restaurant?
I have spent most of my adult life working in the food industry and at the same time have always enjoyed cooking for my family and friends. Once I commited to veganism I knew I couldnt continue to serve products that didn’t align with my morals. It didn’t feel vegan to handle, cook, sell and serve animal products when I felt so strongly about their use as commodities. It was actually around this time 3 years ago when I ordered some products online from a popular deli/restaurant called Herbivorous Butcher and was amazed at the flavors and textures imparted into their products. After looking at the ingredients I started to think maybe I could make this magical meat substitute myself and pretty immediately I began thinking about how this may be a great way for me to continue working in the food industry while working within my moral compass.
You’ve also become a bit of a vegan donut/sweets connoisseur. Have you always had a knack for making sweet treats?
I tell anyone who asks me about our desserts that I am NOT a baker. I am definetly a cook, and I have only recently become comfortable with even saying I may be a chef. The creation of Birch Bark’s donut line started with a desire to create and offer something very unique and the response was so great I didnt dare stop. I’ve definetly had fun along the way creating new flavors and decorative designs but I have NOT always had a knack for the sweet treats.
What’s been your proudest moment so far, in the life of Birch Bark Eatery?
It’s hard to narrow all of Birch Barks moments down to one definitive occurrence. But since you are asking I think I would have to say winning crowd favorite award at VEG OUT 2019. It was such a surprise and came straight from our fans so it meant and continues to mean a lot to us.
What’s been the most challenging part of running Birch Bark so far?
Definetly the hours I have to put in to make this place what it is. I work close to if not more than 100 hours a week. Sometimes in pure exhaustion mode, running on mind over matter. The weekends are crazy 17 hour long marathons of trying to keep up with all the scratch made items while cooking and serving guests.
Tell us about your awesome holiday catering options.
This year we definetly are upping our game and offering many great sides and some pretty grand desserts as well. We will have the return of the turkky roll and the option to add sides such as garlic-thyme smashed potatoes, smoked cinna glazed baby carrotts, butternut pecan brussel casserole, sides of poultry flavored gravy, and there will be pumpkin flavored cheese cake as well.
How can the community best support you when we’re not dining at your place?
The community has been amazing and if we were to ask anything of them it would be to simply continue posting pictures of our food on social media and sharing your visits with your friends and family. Helping us grow the amount of people who are exposed to our social media helps us out.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’d love to let our fans know we are very grateful for their patronage. This has been a wonderful journey to be on and Im excited to see what this coming year will bring.