Black Sheep Vegan Cheeze was co-founded by James and Jenna Johnson. A husband wife team who lives in Armstrong BC Canada that decided to eliminate dairy from their lifestyle. It was not only for the numerous health reasons but also because of the cruelty that happens in the dairy industry, not to mention the environmental impact.
Already Vegetarian (Jenna from birth and James for 20 years) it was a fairly easy decision to ditch dairy except for the cheese. The biggest frustration was trying to find a non dairy cheese alternative that their family really liked. The most common complaint about eliminating dairy is that it comes with giving up some of your favorite comfort foods like pizza, grilled cheese, quesadillas and nachos. But not anymore...
Jenna had an inflamed gallbladder at the age of 22 which the medical doctors informed her that taking out that organ would be a quick and easy fix and that she would be able to function without a gallbladder.
Instead of taking the advice right away, she decided to do a little research and discovered that consuming animal products had a profound effect on your health.
Dairy was the only animal product she was consuming, however, by eliminating dairy and doing a gallbladder cleanse it allowed her to keep her necessary organ.
James grew up with chronic ear infections, tubes in his ears as a child, annual bout of strep throat and many "colds". He consumed copious amounts of dairy. He drank milk like it was water! When James eliminated dairy and meat his picture of health changed for the better.
The Creativity Hits
Years later James was inspired to write two books, "How to Cook Without Having A Cow" and "What the Health Are You Eating". He wanted to share all he had learned about how diet plays an incredible role in your life for a sound body and mind.
James then began researching recipes for non dairy cheese alternatives. Cashew cheese varieties were by far the most abundant and easiest to make but they didn't perform well when it comes to melty goodness for their favourite comfort foods.
After much trial and error and experimenting with other ingredients like organic almond milk and organic tofu, James came to discover what they now call Black Sheep Vegan Cheeze. Nine delicious tasting cheezes and five of which melt wonderfully. The best part is their kids are now dairy free and are excited to have the occasional pizza and grilled cheeze sandwiches.
The Big Decision
They remember sitting down and saying "Do we want to share this product with our community and why?"
The "why" was easy. To offer people the best tasting non dairy cheese alternative so that they too could be part of a movement towards a plant based world, get the benefits for their health, the environment and most importantly, the animals. The transition is easy once you discover products you like and enjoy.
Black Sheep Vegan Cheeze was first offered at various farmers markets in and around the Okanagan BC Canada. Years have now passed and the company continues to learn and grow. A huge thanks to so many wonderful people who have supported, shared and bought Black Sheep Vegan Cheeze. The journey has been truly incredible.