Meet Phil & Emily

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Over the next few posts we want to introduce you to our founding team and share their journey to plant-based eating.  First up is one of our owners Phil Doucette (or Philly D). A few points about Phil before we go deep:

  • He’s a French Canadian who doesn’t speak French

  • Phil is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada - a diverse global city (he told us to say that)

  • He’s a big basketball fan (with his favorite team being the Toronto Raptors of course)

  • He is a yoga teacher and part owner of Modo Yoga Minneapolis

  • He has long eyelashes (he told us to say that too)

In our first #PlantingGood post we talked about ‘what is plant-based’ eating.  It also referenced some of the differences between being plant-based and being vegan.  Which one do you consider yourself to be?

I honestly use them interchangeably.  Eating plant-based is eating vegan too. Beyond the 'food' I would consider myself vegan. Two things challenged me when I first went vegan.

  1. Cheese on pizza, but I got over that quick and now there are so many amazing options and right here in the twin cities we have the Herbivorous Butcher who make small batch vegan cheeses. Love that team over there!

  2. Leather shoes. I love good kicks and have a big collection. This took me longer, but again, there are many great kicks now that don't have leather in them.

How long have you been vegan? What inspired you to move in that direction?

It’s going on 15 years now.  As cliche as it sounds it was my yoga practice that helped me make the decision to go vegan.  I was a pretty intense person with short fuse. My yoga practice helped me calm greatly. I found compassion expanding from myself outward, and one day it included animals.

As for inspirations I have a two big ones. My Gram, she’s the first vegetarian I ever knew.  The other is my friend Jo-Anne McArthur. I met her in high school and through her was the first time I heard the term vegan.  Jo continues to inspire me. She is a world renowned animal rights photographer/activist. She even had an award winning documentary made about her called “The Ghosts In Our Machine.”  She also started an amazing organization called WeAnimals.

You raised your daughter vegan, was that challenging?

Not at all.  We certainly were met with some resistance.  Every doc appt they’d often ask, “Is she getting enough protein?”  But after the checkup they were always amazed by how healthy she was.  Our daughter Emily is an amazing kid. If you want to know who my present day inspiration is, look no further than her.  

Emily has been fully involved in helping get Seed Cafe going.  With her help we got the creamy cheese sauce just right and I can tell you that people are going to LOVE her croutons on the kale caesar salad.  They’re so good we might offer them as a starter!!

What are you most excited about with this cafe?

I think I most excited about people trying our food.  We created this menu great love and compassion!