Hi! I’m Carmella. I’m co-owner of V Marks the Shop. My partner Carlo and I have dedicated nearly 8 years to our little vegan grocery store. We personally funded its growth which took us from an online shop & pop-up in 2015, to being event hosts of vegan community events starting in 2016 to a physical storefront in 2018! Now, as humbling as it is, we need your help.
We are proud to be Philadelphia’s first all vegan grocery and convenience store, as well as a Black & Queer owned business. We have worked with many great folks over the years as a support, guide and partner. It’s been a true labor of love because we’re passionate about our veganism, ethics and commitment to social justice which includes food access.
The effects of COVID certainly hit us hard, but we got through the brunt of it. Unfortunately, in 2022, things took a turn for the worse! I fell ill and required 4 different surgeries, which took me out of the shop for most of the year. We also struggled in caring for an elderly parent and trying to maintain what we could despite rising costs. To say, we were overwhelmed between the two of us running a shop ourselves is an understatement! Not to mention… just life which also bit us at the end of 2022 when we each caught COVID.
Things fell behind. inventory became scant as we try to catch up and recover from losses. We’re fighting everyday to get the shop back to what it once was…a vegan community space for all!
WE’D LOVE YOUR SUPPORT!
UPDATE 3/8/23: We’ve increased our goal to $20,000! The additional $5000 will also help secure funds for rent, taxes and other operating expenses.
The funds we are hoping to raise will allow us to do the following:
1. Pay our suppliers for inventory (25%)
2. Purchase new deli case & repair a freezer and beverage fridge (25%)
3. Extend our business to grow our new V MARKS-A-GO-GO grab & go prepared foods line (15%)
4. Store layout updates to once again support a community space in the back of the shop & bring back our weekly event schedule (10%)
NEW ADDITION -> 5. Get us back on track by securing costs for variable operating expenses including rent, taxes, utilities, etc. (25%)
In addition to this GoFundMe, we will be other supplemental fundraising, thanks to friends! We will also work to reproduce some of our brands gear to be available for sale.
We truly want to be a resource for the local community in showing that living a compassionate vegan lifestyle is possible and available to everyone!
We thank you for your love and kindness! We appreciate you so much because V Marks the Shop wouldn’t even exist without your support!
Fundraising team (2)
This team has raised $14,000 from 281 other donations.