I believe it was this scrambled bowl that stopped me in my scroll a few weeks back. While I’ve been following V.L.C. Vegan Eatery for some time now, it was that photo that made me slide into their DMs to ask if they’d be up for an interview with us. It was Sarah, the owners’ oldest daughter, who replied with a resounding yes. You see, V.L.C. is a family-run business. Jim and Michelle Wu, otherwise known as Papa and Mama Wu run the business and make delicious eats while Sarah heads up their marketing and social media efforts.
V.L.C. stands for Vegan Love Care. It’s a plant-based restaurant that offers traditional Asian cuisine, sans the meat. And on the menu you’ll find stuffed eggplant katsu, chick’n fried rice, dumplings, and vegan tempura cheesecake. As my Grandma used to say, “Goodgollymolly”.
Down below is my interview with Papa Wu. Get to know more about how V.L.C. came to be, how the pandemic has affected the business, and tips on how Pulptown readers can specifically show support.
First things first, who are you? I have been a chef for over 40 years learning different techniques in traditional Asian cuisine. I have been a restaurant owner for almost 30 years.
How did the restaurant/your business/your role come to be? I have always had a love for nature and animals. After I started my plant-based journey about 15 years ago, I knew that I wanted to merge the things I’m passionate about together. Vegan food and plant-based diets were becoming more popular, and I knew it was the perfect time to create V.L.C.
You can eat one meal in Orlando that’s not your own — where are you going and what’s on the menu? Ethos Vegan Kitchen – Chickun Marsala
How has the pandemic affected your business? The pandemic hit us hard. We had our grand opening in January 2020, and two months later, we had to close for three months. The uncertainty was very stressful, and we didn’t know if we were going to be able to pay rent. For a team that just wants to give the customers a relaxing environment and good food, we were all very sad about closing. We are still facing some obstacles from the pandemic right now. We are currently operating with takeout and delivery only. We are extremely grateful that we are still up and running today.
You’re moving. What is your “last meal” in Orlando? A home-cooked meal with my family.
How can Pulptown readers best support you right now? Come order takeout or delivery. You can also purchase gift certificates through our email. Spread the words, take pictures, and share with friends!
Fill in the blank (specific to your time in Orlando): 100 years from now, I hope I’m remembered for… My genuine passion for cooking good, healthy food for others.
Who should we feature next in our Did You Eat Yet… series? We want to talk to restaurant owners, chefs, farmers, grocers, and the folks making an impact on our local food scene like food banks, food security advocates, and more. Hit reply and let us know.