Black Childhood Friends Team Up to Bring Organic, Plant-Based Food to St. Louis

Devonte Jackson and Derrick Mosley

Childhood friends DeVonte' "DJ" Jackson and Derrick Mosley have teamed up to bring plant-based comfort food to St. Louis with their new venture, Da Vegan Way. The duo combined their shared passion and expertise for cooking to offer locals a menu of familiar dishes with a vegan twist.

When the pandemic hit and Jackson faced a job loss, he seized the chance to pursue his lifelong culinary dream. Jackson newly embraced a vegan lifestyle at that time and decided to launch Da Vegan Way where he shares his health journey while earning extra income.

"It was very liberating and allowed me to unlearn old harmful habits and learn new healthier ones," Jackson told Feast Magazine.

Jackson initially took the risk by himself but soon after, Mosley, with a culinary background, joined him. Their kitchen collaboration balances professionalism and fun.

"I enjoy working with a friend who shares the same desires for self-sufficiency and growing our vision," Mosley said.

Transitioning to a plant-based diet can be overwhelming. Da Vegan Way aims to ease the shift, offering plant-based twists on familiar favorites. Jackson and Mosley rely on fresh, organic ingredients, quality seasonings, and a dash of creativity and love for their vegan creations.

Their menu boasts hits like Chik'n Bites, loaded nachos, and deep-fried oyster mushrooms with sweet heat jerk or barbecue sauce. The duo also loves dishing out coconut chickpea curry and veggie teriyaki stir fry for their simplicity and rich flavors.

Beyond notable events like the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Da Vegan Way appears at various St. Louis markets and pop-up events, spreading the joy of vegan comfort food.

"What makes this all worth it is knowing we have a hand in positively rewriting the narrative of vegan comfort food across St. Louis," Jackson said. "I see the community growing stronger day by day!"

Looking ahead, Jackson and Mosley plan to shift from markets to full-scale catering. Through digital cookbooks and educational content, they aim to encourage those embracing a plant-based lifestyle.

Be sure to follow the brand on Instagram @DaVeganWayLLC

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