Recipes passed down in a family of foodies and a near-death experience with poultry led to the creation of Columbus’ only vegan soul food restaurant.
Where It All Vegan is a Black-owned vegan soul food truck that is run by founders Deunte and Agneliz Banks. Their business opened Sept. 28, 2019, the anniversary of Deunte’s grandmother’s passing.
“My grandmother taught me to cook at a young age and soul food is what we typically eat and the meals I prepare, so we gave our own vegan spin on some of our favorite dishes,” Deunte Banks said.
Deunte Banks said the couple has been vegan for almost five years after a near-death experience.
“My wife almost literally died while eating KFC one evening,” Deunte Banks said. “We had to rush her to the ER, and the doctors said she couldn’t eat meat or dairy again.”
Where It All Vegan mainly serves up plant-based chicken wings, wraps and salads, with side dishes of vegan macaroni and cheese, fries, baked beans, and coleslaw.
“Everything we have on the truck is plant based and made from the day before,” Agneliz Banks said.
The vegan wings accommodate dietary restrictions and are also healthier than the traditional chicken wing.
“We use a soy-based protein that is half the calories of a traditional chicken wing,” Deunte Banks said.
Although Where It All Vegan does not have access to their full menu because of renovations occurring at their restaurant, the food truck offers a rotating menu that unveils new items frequently.
“We try to keep the same food on the menu for two to four weeks to give people the chance to try it,” Deunte Banks said.
Their newest item introduced on Saturday is a spicy “chick’n” sandwich served on a brioche bun with kale, spinach, lettuce, sweet pickles, cheddar cheese, homemade ranch and a secret sauce called the “Where It All Vegan” sauce.
“It is spicy and like Cane’s sauce, but it’s not as tangy,” Deunte Banks said.
In addition to selling soul food, Where It All Vegan has partnerships with local businesses such as Destination Donuts, which sells vegan donuts, and Blessed Bakery, which provides vegan cookies and brownies.
Where It All Vegan hopes to open their restaurant in March and has created a GoFundMe page for people to donate to, with a goal of $50,000 raised.
“That goal has taken everything into account, from renovations to paying employees and even to paying rent on the store front,” Deunte Banks said.
Where It All Vegan has had a lease at the restaurant location of 246 S. Fourth St. since September 2020.
“Every single month we are paying about $2,500, but we cannot use it, so we are just trying to raise those funds as quickly as possible that way we can stop wasting money and feed the community as well,” Deunte Banks said.
The restaurant will include live entertainment that features local artists and more food items to choose from.
The food truck is located at 3282 N. High St. every Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and every Sunday at 2891 E. Dublin Granville Road from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Orders can also be placed on the website.