The Red Fern: Cultivating Cruelty-Free Eats

Five years ago, Andrea Parros opened the 100% vegan and gluten-free friendly restaurant, The Red Fern. Even without knowing that Andrea is the owner of this conscious and contemporary restaurant, you can tell that she’s passionate about food once you notice her vibrant tattoos of vegetables and plants. In a city that is known for fried food, garbage plates, and generally unhealthy cuisine, Andrea felt that she could give back to this community by offering a healthy alternative - especially to people who suffer from food allergies: “This is such a beautiful place, there is so much opportunity, and the people are really nice.”

Andrea became a vegan in 2008. She was diagnosed with dairy and wheat allergies prior to her conscious decision to give up all animal products: “I didn’t have to give up eggs, according to my allergies, but once I gave up dairy and meat I felt a calling, and I thought, I am just going to try being vegan. A lot of the people that I knew who were vegan, I really thought that they were cool and with it. I never looked back. It was absolutely one of the catalysts to opening this restaurant. Going meatless myself made me think, ‘what place would I want to eat at?’ I really wanted a safe haven for anyone with food allergies, with gluten intolerances.”

Trying to find places that matched her dietary needs was not the only challenge Andrea faced in her food journey, but her “solutionbased” approach helped her get where she is today: “You have to be solution-based to be able to succeed in anything. Every time that you’re met with a roadblock it’s like ‘how do I walk around this, jump around this, how do I skrrt?’” But she believes that “anything you do, as long as you do it well, it will be a success!”

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