Detroit Lover Amber Poupore Talks Vegan

Tell us about yourself:

Amber Poupore is synonymous with vegetarian cuisine in southeastern Michigan, having worked over a decade at the premier vegetarian restaurant Inn Season Cafe, opening her own businesses Cacao Tree Cafe and The Clean Plate as well as her former role as an integral consultant for reputable GreenSpace Cafe in Ferndale, which is owned by renowned vegan cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn.  Her passion for providing well balanced, enriching and nourishing foods is representative through her involvement and commitment to her clientele and the community.  Amber is involved with educational and instructional classes throughout southeastern MI and is the exclusive caterer for the Plant Based Nutrition Support Group (PBNSG).  She has recently been featured in the full length documentary Eating You Alive and has appeared frequently on Fox 2 News, Channels 4 and 7, as well as numerous articles in local publications.

How Long Have You Been A Vegan?

Plant based 19 years

What made you choose a vegan lifestyle?

Educating myself and becoming aware of the effects of animal product consumption on a mass scale.  The dangers to the environment and health, physical and mental.  Realizing that all of the modern chronic disease we are suffering from is directly related to the consumption of animal products and processed foods.  I encourage people to support only local farms if they are choosing to consume animal products.  The environmental effects are greatly reduced and the majority of animals actually live a meaningful and comfortable life.

How Long Have You Been A customer at Avalon? What brought you there? What keeps you coming back?

16 years.  I discovered Avalon shortly after their inception when I moved back from the west coast in 2000.  I had recently become vegan and was overjoyed at the vegan dessert options and baked goods Avalon offered.  I always feel at home when I enter the Willis bakery, as it reminds me of a quaint west coast style small business.  It is always warm, inviting and welcoming.  The artwork and creativity that is expressed has always been impressive to me.  The signage is fun, creative and ever-changing.  I feel nourished when I eat Avalon bread, I feel the love that goes into every single loaf of bread.  The creative combinations and light fluffy texture have always been the perfect compliment to any meal, especially soup, salad and sandwiches, which I basically live off of.

What is your favorite product there?

sweet: peanut butter chocolate chip cookie
savory:  sourdough farm bread

What books/resources have been the greatest influences on you?

I enjoy reading information that has been scientifically researched by doctors which has evidence supporting it.
Dr. Neil Barnard (, Program for Reversing Diabetes, Power Foods for the Brain, Breaking the Food Seduction
Dr. Esselstyn, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Engine 2 Diet
Dr. T Colin Campbell (, The China Study, Plant Pure Nation film
Dr. Greger (, How Not to Die

If there is one thing about the plant based lifestyle that you would like to share with Avalon vegans and non-vegans alike, what would it be?

A plant based lifestyle is not deficient in animal products, it is featuring all of the incredible and creative applications in which you can use plants in a natural, practical and sustainable manner.  From food to clothing and housewares to fuel, you can harness the energy of our natural surroundings and live harmoniously without causing harm or damage to any beings.

What would be your advice for “plant curious” people as they explore a plant-based lifestyle?

Educate yourself and then make the best and most informed choices for you.  There is a wealth of resources available from medical books, cookbooks, documentaries, websites, blogs and smartphone apps.  Always consult your doctor before implementing any serious dietary changes, especially if you are on medications.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

I have always been someone who stays away from labels like vegetarian, vegan and raw.  I love to recommend others to refer to "plant based" because if you eat primarily plants you can maintain an optimum state of health combined with healthy physical and mental activities.  This encourages others to focus their diet on plants but have some breathing room for the reality of life's special occasions and inconvenient situations.  If considering being plant based, always be patient and forgiving with yourself.  Change doesn't happen overnight, create subtle changes and set yourself up for success rather than failure.  Create a new lifestyle, not a temporary diet.  Participate in local support groups like PBNSG and Chickpea & Bean, surrounding yourself with others who are on a similar journey.

Posted in Avalon, Detroit, Guest Blogger, Health, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian, featured | Comments Off

Valentine’s Day: Lover or Hater?

Who doesn’t love Valentines Day? Umm... Everyone Who Hates It?

In the celebration of Valentine’s, we want to know if Detroit has more “lovers” or “haters.” Avalon is offering traditional heart shaped shortbread cookies from February 1st through February 14th.

For the lovers, we offer cookies with acronyms like:
♥ rmw = rock my world
♥ yst = you sexy thing
♥ lyf = love you forever
♥ me = my everything

For the haters we offer cookies with acronyms like:
♥ mfits = more fish in the sea
♥ yhyc = you had your chance
♥ bda = better days ahead
♥ has = happy and single

To participate, all you have to do is come visit us at Avalon on Willis or on the Boulevard or at our Hearth to Home Mail Order page from February 1st through the 14th. Find the acronym you like best and purchase that cookie. $3.00 for one cookie = one vote. More cookies=more votes.  $30.00 per dozen. You can even order half and half if that’s how you roll!

And if you have an acronym that you want us to use, tell us about it! Share it with us on facebook, instagram, or twitter with #loversvshaters or send us an email at
Let’s see if Detroit gets to keep Cupid’s Arrow or if Cupid will demand it back! Enjoying a scrumptious all-butter shortbread cookie makes us all lovers, whether we celebrate Valentine’s Day or not!

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Introducing high quality handmade preserves by Beau Bien Fine Foods

Around the same time Michigan passed its Cottage Food law, I met my business partner Molly O’Meara through mutual friends on Twitter, and we quickly discovered a shared love of food, cooking and entertaining. We hit it off in person, too, and decided to turn our passion into a small business, Beau Bien Fine Foods. The name is a nod to Detroit’s Beaubien Street, as well as my background in French language. Living there for a year after college, I was introduced to many new flavors and cooking traditions which still influence me today.

Molly and I were inspired by other artisanal jam makers in fruit-rich areas like the Bay area of California who were making small batch, high quality handmade preserves, and we thought, “Why not here?” We have access to some of the best fruit in the country in Southeast Michigan, yet no one was really making the kinds of preserves that we wanted to eat; specifically, a less sweet product with a more concentrated fruit flavor that could be paired with savory items like a cheese board in addition to putting it on your morning toast. We had tons of fun in the kitchen developing recipes for flavors like Apricot Riesling, Tart Cherry & Port, and Peach Ginger Chutney.

Almost all of our fruit is sourced from Michigan, and much of it from within 50 miles of our kitchen. We’ve experienced a big growth spurt within the last year, and with that, we are dealing directly with many farmers to buy large amounts of fruit. Last year Molly had the privilege to meet Barbara Norman, our blueberry farmer in Covert, MI. Barbara is the third generation owner of her farm, and her grandkids are the sixth generation to work the land. She’s transitioning her farm to organic, so she hasn’t sprayed her berries in four years. These are the kinds of details we can get from going to the source and knowing our farmers. We always look for the best quality produce we can possibly find, and we love being able to have hands-on involvement in selecting the best fruit for our products.

Working with Avalon is a natural fit for us and we’re so excited and proud to be in their stores. As hugely successful women business owners in Detroit, Ann and Jackie have always been role models for us, and the high caliber of everything they produce is a standard we strive to meet with our own company. We hope you’ll love our preserves as much as we love Avalon’s delicious baked goods, so please come in and try some soon!

Noelle Lothamer, co-owner
Beau Bien Fine Foods

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