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Meet Matt & Angie Barrell of Stairway to Veggin’

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matt & Angie Barrell.

Hi Matt & Angie, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself:
Our story starts in 2010: we met between college semsters in PA while working in the kitchen of an assisted living facility. As the years went on, we dreamt of starting a business togther, focusing on one of our passions. We also participated in aid trips to Guatemala and vowed to make a difference in the world.

We slowly started to try out Meatless Mondays, then researched more about factory farming and decided together to become vegetarians. After visiting Indraloka Animal Sanctuary in 2017 and meeting the rescued farm animals up close we went fully vegan. Angie dove into the world of vegan cooking and fell in love, while Matt fell in love with eating her creations. At the same time, we both continued our careers in finance developing our business skillsets.

When the pandemic hit, we had the opportunity to work remotely, so we decided to make our dream of living in NC come true! The pandemic, along with the move, inspired us to live the lives we had always dreamt of. So in fall of 2020, we took the super exciting and terrifying jump: we quit our corporate finance jobs and started a franchise food truck of a vegan restaurant.

While this was an incredible experience and introduction to owning a business, we craved running a business that ws 100% “us”. So in 2021 we made the decision to take another big jump by selling our franchise food truck and creating our very own business, Stairway to Veggin’.

Everything about our business is now truly “us”. From the Led Zeppelin influences, to the passionately inspired and unique fully vegan menu, to the loving and inclusive attitudes and happiness that we pledge to spread to our customers, to our earth friendly packaging and practices, to our #EatGoodDoGood movement to make a difference, in which we donate a portion of all of our sales to rotating organizaions each month. We also love supporting other business, and currently sell products from six other local small businesses on our truck!

Everything that we do is centered on peace and love. You can feel it when you order from us and taste it when you bite into our delicious food – especially our fried chick’n which is quickly becoming famous for being the best around!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Since the beginning, it’s always just been the two of us running the truck. We have had many sleepless nights, personal and financial pressure to succeed, and the struggle to establish ourselves as a new business in the midst of a pandemic.

We had a slow and stressful winter during the pandemic, which helped us to reevaulate and construct our new business. While we knew this was the right direction for us, it was also very risky and finacially challenging. Our desire to build a business that our hearts were poured into and that truly represented us overcame our fears.

Despite the extremely hard work and the challenges, we wouldn’t change a thing. We truly feel like we are lving our dream. It truly doesn’t feel like “work” because of the passion, fulfillment, and genuine joy that we feel. The risks, mistakes, and hard work have definitley been worth it in getting us to where we are today.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
We serve mind-blowing, love and flavor-filled vegan food for ALL. Our specialty is unique fried chick’n sandwiches, but we rotate in other special menu items as well. We support other local small businesses by including items from them as part of our menu. We also use 100% compostable packaging and flatware to lessen our environmental footprint. Additionally, we donate a portion of our proceeds to a different non-profit each month as part of our #eatgooddogood movement. We’re passionate about spreading veganism and joy through our delicious food, giving back, and promoting kindness for all humans and animals.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
There are so many things that we LOVE about the Triangle. We love the kindness of the people that live here, the inclusivity, the weather, the art/music scene, the animal sanctuaries, all of the things there are to do – the incredible trails for biking and hiking with our dog, the short drive to the beach or mountains, and lots of great vegan food. It’s such an awesome place to live. The only thing that we dislike is the lack of Philly soft pretzels!

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  1. Carrie Monette

    August 19, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Thank you so much for the inspiring story about this remarkable couple. This food is so delicious, and it truly is for everyone, vegan or not. Their business model of supporting charitable causes, and featuring items from other local small businesses, is exemplary. I hope everyone has a chance to support this new business. I am already a huge fan.

  2. Modo

    August 19, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and eating some of the amazing food these two have created and I’m not Vegan! The Tots and glazes kick as$.

  3. Bryanna

    March 17, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    We LOVE the food here, and the fact that they support so many small businesses and give back to organizations doing amazing work in the community basically makes it the perfect place to support! If you haven’t tried it yet, follow them on Instagram and find out when they come to your area, because you will not be disappointed!!!

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