Good vibes, good pastries—what more could you ask for?
Nashville is famous for its country music scene, but the city is about to be known for its plant-based baked goods. Keep reading to learn more about Nashville’s first Queer, BIPOC-owned vegan bakery, Yellow & Lavender!
Owners Ryliegh Vieira and Lucy Pazos
If you’ve been to Tennessee before, you know that all-vegan establishments are far and few between. This is one of the main reasons owners Ryliegh Vieira and Lucy Pazos opened Yellow & Lavender in Nashville’s Riverside Village neighborhood less than a year ago.
Vieira told VegOut, “We found it extremely important to fill a massive void in Nashville. A fast breakfast is something that is necessary sometimes for all of us and that was non-existent for vegans or those who are dairy allergic in Nashville. Also, Lucy grew up with beautiful memories of baking with their late grandmother, so it became a passion and outlet for self-expression for them.”
The Menu at Yellow & Lavender
The eclectic menu at Yellow & Lavender includes everything from Blueberry Pop-Tarts, ‘Twix’ Croissant Cubes, and Birthday Cake Rolls to Jalapeño Popper Sausage Croissants and Mexican Street Corn Danishes. In addition, customers can order custom vegan cakes in a wide range of flavors and designs.
When asked how they come up with their unique menu items, Pazos said, “Half of it comes from curiosity. My brain is constantly saying, ‘What if you pair this with that?’ The other half comes from our childhood memories, things we ate in the past and that later on we weren’t able to eat once we became vegan.”
Offering a Safe, Inclusive Space for All
As a BIPOC, Queer, and vegan-owned establishment, one of Yellow & Lavender’s core values is to offer a safe, inclusive space for all. A place where customers can come in, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation and enjoy plant-based fare in a welcoming, non-judgmental environment.
“I only had to hear one single Queer person thank us for just existing, and I knew what the purpose of this business was. The world doesn’t need one more Krispy Kreme for the average person. Minority groups need visibility, acceptance, and understanding on a larger scale than a single influencer to become one step closer to ‘normalization,’” expressed Vieira.
To celebrate Pride Month, Yellow & Lavender is participating in a Pride coffee shop crawl, showcasing their “Too Gay to Function” cold-pressed ube coconut milk tea with caramel and glitter.
Supporting Queer & BIPOC-Owned Businesses
When asked what they wish people knew about being the only openly Queer and BIPOC-owned business serving all-vegan pastries in Nashville, Vieira shared, “We would need a full-hour discussion to talk about the trials and tribulations of owning and operating. People DO actively walk away from our business because we are Queer, pro-gun safety, Lucy is of color, and/or we’re vegan. When we were in farmers markets, we had A LOT of people visibly and audibly become disgusted with us just for being vegan without trying a single pastry. When we posted our first wedding photo on IG, we lost over a hundred followers. We’ve had employees in the past who wouldn’t look at Lucy when they spoke but would look and listen to me. All of this is terrible, confusing, and frustrating. However, it also makes it incredibly easy to weed out the people who shouldn’t be around or follow you/your business. There is another place for those folks, and we just know it’s not here.”
To inspire other hopeful Queer entrepreneurs or established businesses scared to publicize that they are Queer-owned, Vieira stated, “It is more difficult for homophobia to look away from an openly Queer business when there is one across the street, too.”
“Support Queer small businesses during Pride month, yes, but also year around! Get to know your community! It makes the every day easier when you are all fighting the same fight together,” stated Pazos.