We had the good fortune of connecting with Kynsley Akens and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kynsley, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?

I am inspired by Community. I have had the privilege of growing up in a city that acts more like a village. Multicultural and multifaceted; I’ve learned so much from my community members. From history and cooking techniques to a bit of lingo in other languages. I value my neighbors as we are all from different ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds. I respect them, learn from them and we all help each other to achieve our common goals.
When someone helps me, I am in a position to help someone else and that cycle echoes throughout our community structure. I love engaging with my neighbors and helping others. When my community is thriving, that means I am thriving and that is the inspiration that drives me!

What should our readers know about your business?

The vision for OKIE! VEGAN is to provide access and new food options to groups of people so often left out of the conversation of plant-based eating. I started OKIE! VEGAN to reach out to others and share what I’ve learned about nutrition in relation to the types of foods we choose to eat. I wanted to give my community the food options that they deserve. In many ways, one’s success in life is determined by our environments, I wanted to create an environment for people to come and share food made with positivity and good vibes!
Though it’s not often easy introducing our vegan menu to new patrons, the quality of our product really shines. We use fresh and unique items in our dishes that allow for an experience of flavors that our customers have never tried before.
A few lessons that I have learned are, to never give up on your passions and to always be intentional about your goals. Intention is in every meal we serve and it really shows in the taste and quality of our products.
What I would like the world to know most about OKIE! VEGAN is that we value you! Our food mission really belongs to all people. Health and Wellness is at the core of what we do and we want everyone to know!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

There are so many cool places to check out in Los Angeles. I personally like to visit record stores and vintage shops. There is a boutique called “Ay Que Vintage” that I love which sells Vintage clothing and Vinyl records. Also if there is ever a Beat Swapmeet open, I’m sure to stop by. Traveling down to Malibu is a must if I’m showing a friend some great views as well as the Point Fermin lighthouse in San Pedro, Ca.
For the best vegan treats in town Rositas Eats is where you want to go or Rising Hearts Bakery in Culver City. Delice Bakery on Pico is the place to go if you love amazing bread, they have a vegan Challah bread that is so good! And you can find the best vegan Thai food at The Silver Lake House in Silver lake or Vegan Nova in Hawthorne, Ca. If you’d like to grab some drinks Perch in Downtown Los Angeles should be your first stop.  The Golden Gopher  is also a favorite of mine, and The Grasshopper in Long Beach, CA.
Visiting museum spaces are an integral part of being a local. So one must visit LACMA, MOCA & CAAM if they want that real Los Angeles experience! And one more spot for some amazing views of the city, Griffith Park. The skyline from the observatory will never disappoint you.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to give a BIG Shoutout to my partners on this plant based mission and fellow OKIE! VEGAN team members–Mattie, Kacye, and Kymberly! Without them OKIE! VEGAN would not be possible. They have contributed so much time and love into this project with me; words cannot express my gratitude and appreciation for them. They are amazing!

I  would also like to thank my friends at Armada Unified, East Side Riders, The ThinkWatts Foundation, Community Lutheran Church of Willowbrook Ca, Our friends at Roy Campanella Park in Compton, Dale Washington of Wellcare, John Haas and the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. These are valuable partnerships that have helped us in so many ways on our own mission of bringing healthy & fresh plant-based options to the communities we serve and to them we say, “Thank you!”
We’d especially like to thank all of our friends and neighbors who support our pop-ups, meal prep services and community events. We cherish our connections with you and will continue to show up and provide fresh food options that nourish the body and spirit!

Website: okieveganglobal.com

Instagram: @okie_vegan

Image Credits

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.