Get to know the mind behind the workings of The Empowered Vegan. Chef Jack Middleton shares his inspiration and experience.
- What inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve always been entrepreneurially spirited and when I left my last job, I had recently gone vegan and I really wanted to teach people how they could approach a vegan diet in a way that was sustainable, easy and exciting. I really valued the freedom of being able to make my own schedule. That’s what initially inspired me to start my own business.
- What’s your working background and how did you develop the necessary skills to start your business?
Ever since I graduated high school, I was training to become a chef. For the last decade I’ve been working in kitchens, I went to chef school and have been focusing the majority of my time and attention on becoming a better cook. When I started my business, I already had about six years of experience in the industry cooking professionally. I have my red seal and I got my certificate from George Brown. That background made me a great candidate for starting a plant based education program that focuses on elevating peoples individual culinary ability, such that they felt a great sense of ease and accomplishment in the kitchen as it pertains to a plant based diet.
- When did veganism become so important in your life?
I went vegan 2016 so that’s five years ago now. It became important to me at that point. I’d come across some information that convinced me that going vegan was going to be a much more powerful choice for my health. As well as for the planet, and of course the animals. It became very important to me at that point to be able to spread the word and help other people make positive changes and choices.
- What’s a typical work day like for you?
My life is pretty much split between being on my computer sending emails, doing administrative work and doing financial work. The other half is spent in the kitchen either producing our products, prepping for catering events or experimenting with new products and dishes.
- If you could start from the beginning, would you do anything differently?
If I were to start from the beginning doing anything differently, I would have sought more collaboration with other people who were in a similar field, who were working on similar things. I would have started developing partnerships and closer business relationships earlier on because now I’m realizing that those things have incredibly immense value. If I’d known that earlier, I would have started focusing more time and attention on that.