Our ultimate objective at V-Grits is to make vegan cooking easy and accessible for everyone.
The concept for our company started in 2014, when the V-Grits food truck was born. Over the warm months of 2015 the food truck attended over 80 events in our hometown of Louisville, KY, serving southern-style vegan meals. Our signature dishes included the Loaded Mac & Cheese with BBQ Jackfruit and Coconut Bacon, and the “Where Do You Get Your Protein?” Burger, a double patty monster of a sandwich. We made all of our own plant-based burgers and cheeses, and strived to show folks that they could still enjoy comfort food. It was a smashing success, and we got to know our customers and hear everyone’s food stories - their favorite meals, why they switched to a plant-based life, or what’s holding them back from eating healthier. What we heard over and over again was that most people would like to eat this way more often, but they have no idea where to start. So we began brainstorming - how can we help people learn to cook vegan meals and fall in love with food the way we have. That’s how we came up with the recipe kit meal service you’ve now discovered.
Our passions - food, overall health and wellness, animal welfare, sustainability - make us a mission-driven company. We’ll always strive to make sure we’re giving it 100%, so that your experience with V-Grits is a fun, delicious adventure.
Kristina J. Addington
Chief Executive Brand Officer
My journey to starting V-Grits began almost a decade ago. I was working in the mortgage industry (as exciting as you can imagine), with a deep desire to help people and animals but not quite sure where that would take me. I happened upon some horrifying facts about the animal agriculture industry and switched my diet almost overnight. I still remember how intimidating new recipes (with multiple ingredients that I hadn’t even heard of) were, and the pre-packaged foods back then weren’t nearly as plentiful as today. A plant-based diet wasn’t on anyone’s radar yet, and most people didn’t even know what "vegan" meant. But I stayed strong and found my way. I took culinary classes to get the basics down, and spent a lot of time figuring how to cook for my new lifestyle. An animal welfare organization offered me a dream job (much love to PETA) and I spent the next few years as a campaign organizer, media spokesperson, and corporate liaison.
During that time my passion for cooking was nagging at me, so I started teaching others how to prepare vegan meals, and that eventually became my full time career. The opportunity of a lifetime came knocking when the Food Network selected me for the culinary competition Cutthroat Kitchen, and I became the first vegan chef to appear on and win the show. The prize money, along with a successful crowdsourcing campaign, funded the start of the V-Grits food truck. About that time, as my food-fueled timing continued to be perfect, I met Jeff. It doesn’t take long for those closest to me to get schooled in plant-based 101, and Jeff’s natural passion for health and wellness, and helping others, made us a perfect team.
Chief Operations/Technology Officer
My journey to starting V-Grits began in 2012 with my pursuit of creating a healthier lifestyle for myself. At the time, I thought the only path to being healthy was to exercise. After entering countless races, including 2 triathlons, I still felt like something was missing. In 2014 I met Krissy and she helped me realize that having a healthy diet in addition to fitness would benefit my health exponentially more than exercise alone.
That summer I helped her make hundreds (it felt like thousands!) of samples of plant-based foods for the Plant Pure Nation rally held here in Louisville, KY. While serving all of these fabulous finger foods, I could see, and really feel, the massive outpouring of positivity and gratefulness from everyone that was able to try our vegan treats. From that day forward I never looked back.
I did my research - initially just attempting to debunk Krissy’s plant-based health claims - to really understand the benefits of eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, and I’ve felt the effects myself. We’ve been to animal sanctuaries where I made the connection that every animal deserves to be free from harm, just like our dogs and cats. I’m passionate about this journey and I can’t wait to share the meals that we enjoy at home, so that everyone has the opportunity to experience the lifestyle upgrade that I have.
Food Production Manager
I started my journey of veganism on Thanksgiving morning, 1996. A friend presented me with a question: “If you give money to the left hand of a cooperation and not the right hand and it’s going into the same wallet, are you really making any difference?” This was in reference to me being vegetarian at the time and still supporting the dairy industry. I looked into the implications of this question and came down to one answer: Veganism was the only option that made sense for me and I’ve never looked back!
I grew up in the Dallas punk rock scene and was so fortunate to have been exposed, in my early teenage years, to bands and people that promoted a progressive message, such as veganism. At the time, vegan options were few and far between in grocery stores, so it became imperative to learn how to cook. Necessity truly began my journey into the culinary arts. I was lucky enough to have the support of my parents to taste my creations through the years and allow me to fold them into our family meals.
In the summer of 2002 after relocating to Louisville, I was hired on at Ramsi’s Cafe On The World, never having worked in a professional kitchen environment before. I learned the tools of the trade through a trial by fire, all the while slowly pushing a vegan agenda within the restaurant. Many of my suggestions and some elements of dishes slowly became implemented into the menu progression over the years. After 14 years, I was able to leave my mark on an already established business that was never intending on pursuing a vegan option and allowed me the opportunity to develop a skill set needed to take on the position offered to me by V-Grits.
Brand Marketing Associate
Veganism really got introduced to me my first year of college, when a friend of mine gave a lecture of the harmful effects of animal products in our diet, particularly dairy products. I had been a health-intrigued pescetarian (I still ate fish, dairy and eggs, but no meat) for five years prior, so I made an attempt to cut out dairy and eggs whenever I saw fit. I started to follow vegan foodies to get an idea of how to make vegan meals, and soon enough I ended up following some vegan activists as well. I had always considered animals to be sentient and knew animals didn't deserve to be in pain for my benefit, but what I didn't know is that the dairy and egg industries are just as brutal, if not worse, to animals as the meat industry. The more activists I followed, the better I understood that veganism was not a diet, but a mindset. What really got me to go vegan was a paragraph an activist posted comparing veganism to feminism, another moral belief system I have always identified with and cared deeply about since I was a little girl. Since reading that, I didn't feel like I could identify as a feminist without being vegan and I made the switch that day. Some days I still even am amazed and surprised to think of myself as a "vegan," a term I had grown to associate with the words "salads" and "extremist," and have rethought to be centered around the word "nonviolence."
Lucky me, I was fortunate enough to have made the switch in a time where veganism was and is growing in awareness, social media, and the food scene. I'm also incredibly lucky I found V-Grits through Instagram only a few months after becoming vegan, and quickly became one of their biggest fans, seeing as I thought it was some of the best food in Louisville. If I got a text alert saying the food truck was coming out to an event, there would be a good chance that I'd be going to that event too! I even gathered my parents in the living room to watch Kristina crush her competitors on Cutthroat Kitchen. A year later, I couldn't have been more ecstatic when Kristina asked me to join the V-Grits team. It's lovely to work for a company that has the goal of spreading education, awareness and access to a healthy, cruelty-free lifestyle and belief system; especially with some yummy vegan noms!
Chief Taste Tester