Take-and-Bake Vegan Mac & Cheese Trays Expand to Nearly 100 Costco Locations
Chef Ayindè Howell’s plant-based Mac & Yease can be found in Costco stores across the southeastern United States.
Earlier this year, Costco tested Jalapeno Mac & Yease in 30 locations across California and Hawaii. The brand partnership is now expanding to nearly 100 Costco stores across the Southeast. Wholesale shoppers can now find 32 oz trays of this take-and-bake macaroni ‘n’ cheese in the prepared foods section of Costco stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Puerto Rico. Grab a cart, everyone—we’re heading to Costco!
Mac & Yease at Participating Costco Stores
Created by Chef Ayindè Howell (the former personal chef for musician India.Arie), this creamy plant-based recipe is a tribute to his great grandmother, Mary. Her generational macaroni ‘n’ cheese served as a Sunday supper staple growing up. After years of perfecting the recipe, Chef Howell is bringing that same mealtime vibe to vegan dinner tables in select states. Veganized with a variety of non-dairy milks and cruelty-free cheeses, this mac is protein-rich and indulgent with and without a kick of fresh jalapenos. Participating Costco stores in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas will carry the Jalapeno & Cheddar Mac, while the remaining states will offer trays of the Original Mac & Yease.
“[It’s] really just a surreal, full-circle moment after being in business for 20 years as a chef,” Howell told VegOut. “My parents started this journey over 40 years ago to bring seasoned, delicious vegan food to people, especially to Black people, because we get handed down a lot of traditions. Food is one thing that we take a lot of pride in, but soul food can be very detrimental to the long-term health of Black people. To give this classic Southern dish a plant-based twist that still cuts the mustard against ‘regular mac ‘n’ cheese’ and have it in the community just means so much.”
Inclusive, Plant-Based Food
Out of a need for good, relatable vegan products on the market, Howell, a lifelong vegan, created iEatGrass, the parent company of Mac & Yease. With the continued growth of plant-based cuisine and increased interest in tasty, vegan food, the Black-owned company has stepped into the mainstream light. According to the iEatGrass team, “If the demand is there, so are we.” And the demand is certainly there! With the help of Costco, inclusive, plant-based food choices are easier to obtain than ever. Howell stated, “We have a foot in the door and now we just have to reach beyond our community and get the rest of America to try it.”
Can’t wait to get your hands on this creamy, ready-to-bake comfort food, or don’t live near a participating Costco store? Mac & Yease products can be found at ieatgrass.com and shipped nationwide.
Photo credit: @__joyann on Instagram
During her studies to become a registered dietitian, Anja—a longtime vegetarian—transitioned to a vegan diet. Living in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the time (Go Broncos!), she met Maggie and Tammie through VegOut Kalamazoo (one of VegOut’s first focus cities) and began collaborating with the duo. When she’s not writing about new vegan eats, practicing as a pediatric clinical dietitian, and virtually coaching fellow plant-based eaters, you can find her creating veg-centric recipes, trying new cruelty-free products, and spending time with her partner Addison and cat Kovu.
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