Transforming Family Dinners with Stephanie Dreyer's Vegan Dinner Club: A Plant-Based Meal Planning S
Discover how Stephanie Dreyer's Vegan Dinner Club simplifies plant-based meal planning for families. Learn about her journey and tips for plant-based entrepreneurs.
Are you a plant-based entrepreneur seeking inspiration in the world of business and healthy eating? In our latest episode of the Plant Based On Fire podcast, host Bryan interviewed Stephanie Dreyer, the founder of Vegan Dinner Club. Stephanie is a meal planning expert on a mission to make dinner easier for busy parents while promoting a plant-based lifestyle. In this blog, we'll delve into Stephanie's journey and explore how Vegan Dinner Club is changing the game for families looking to embrace a plant-based diet.
From Struggle to Success
Stephanie's journey began 13 years ago when she decided to go vegan. However, her family didn't follow suit, and she faced the challenge of preparing meals that could cater to her plant-based lifestyle while satisfying her family's taste buds. This struggle was the catalyst for the creation of Vegan Dinner Club. Stephanie wanted to help others facing similar dilemmas by providing them with meal plans and recipes that eliminate time-consuming prep, making family dinners enjoyable for everyone.
The Vegan Dinner Club Experience
For just $11.99 a month, members of Vegan Dinner Club receive weekly dinner plans and a convenient automated grocery list. What sets this club apart is Stephanie's dedication to making the meal planning process efficient. She includes a prep plan that guides members in preparing components or ingredients for their dinners in advance, reducing cooking time during the week. Stephanie also engages with members through a private Facebook group, offering personalized guidance to ensure the meal plans work seamlessly in their busy lives.
Growing Opportunities for Plant-Based Entrepreneurs
Stephanie emphasized the changing landscape of the plant-based food industry, with an explosion of products and content creators catering to the growing demand. She believes that collaboration is key, as entrepreneurs and content creators can support each other and amplify their impact. Stephanie encourages finding creative ways to work together, whether through interviews, cross-promotions, or joint campaigns.
A Family-Centered Approach
One of Vegan Dinner Club's core goals is to encourage families to sit down together for homemade, healthy meals. Stephanie believes that if she can help more families achieve this, she's making a significant difference in promoting a greener, healthier world. The club empowers members to enjoy plant-based meals while still accommodating the preferences of non-vegan family members.
Future Endeavors and Advice for Entrepreneurs
Looking ahead, Stephanie has exciting plans for Vegan Dinner Club. She's considering a cookbook and exploring ways to provide quick meal hacks, simplifying dinner preparation even further. She aims to offer more free workshops, community challenges, and workshops to connect with her members and provide them with valuable content.
Stephanie's advice for plant-based entrepreneurs is to focus on what they love and stay true to their core mission. It's easy to get overwhelmed with the ever-expanding possibilities, but success lies in delivering a great product consistently. She encourages entrepreneurs to prioritize their content and be consistent while understanding that they don't have to do everything at once.
Supporting Stephanie and Vegan Dinner Club
To connect with Stephanie and learn more about Vegan Dinner Club, visit Vegan Dinner Club. You can also follow them on social media on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.
Stephanie's journey is a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and the desire to make a positive impact. As you embark on your own plant-based entrepreneurial journey, remember Stephanie's advice: Focus on what you love, stay consistent, and collaborate with others to amplify your reach. Together, we can create a greener, healthier world, one meal at a time.
>Podcast Episode’s Transcription
Hello everyone and welcome to Plant Based on Fire where we're talking about plant-based businesses and their inspiring stories to thrive in the industry. I'm your host Brian and joining us today is Stephanie. She is a meal planning expert and founder of the Vegan Dinner Club. So she helps business parents like me make dinner easier by providing weekly plans and recipes without time-consuming prep that can feed the whole family.
So welcome Stephanie to Plant Based on Fire.
Stephanie Dreyer (00:31.63)
Hi, Brian. Thank you so much for having me. Excited to be here.
We are too. I struggle with this all the time because like I do have younger kids and I have to come up with fun food. It doesn't have too much cumin and all the cool stuff that I love in it to get them to eat certain things. I made these delicious tempeh bacon things this weekend and they are just loaded, but they just didn't like the taste of it. So, yeah, so I want to unpack that more with you. But, but.
Stephanie Dreyer (00:46.734)
Stephanie Dreyer (00:59.481)
Let's start back at the beginning a little bit. What was sort of the inspiration and the reason for founding Vegan Dinner Club and getting started with this?
Stephanie Dreyer (01:12.722)
Yeah, honestly, it was my own personal struggle that led me to where I am today. I went vegan 13 years ago and my family didn't come with me. Very supportive, but I was trying to navigate how to be vegan and still feed. I had at the time a one-year-old, a three-year-old and a five and a half, or sorry, one four and six-year-old. They're about two and a half, three years apart. So.
Stephanie Dreyer (01:40.126)
I was trying to figure out how do I feed myself, how do I feed them without juggling all the things, without having to make three meals a night and not like kind of an honor, the reasons that I went vegan as well. So as I went through that struggle and developed a system, I started
Stephanie Dreyer (02:02.362)
sharing that with others. One, I was looking for community because I'm the only still I'm the only one in my immediate social circle and family that's vegan, and just needed some people to talk to you because, you know, my family was sick of hearing me talk about being vegan and how great it is and how delicious all the food is. So I started this community and then I was, you know, developing, you know, the system I call it my five step system.
Stephanie Dreyer (02:27.506)
my friends would come over and look at it and be like, you know, I'd have my menu posted, I'd have things kind of set up and they would just be in awe like, wait, what is that? You plan your meals in advance, wait, you only go to the store once a week? And I realized, oh, this is, I guess, different than what other people are doing. So I started sharing more of that, I got asked to teach classes and that kind of grew and led me to see, oh, wow, there's other people in this situation that need help.
And honestly, I really shied away from being a vegan and a non-vegan family. I really shied away from talking about that because I was a little like scared to share that, to be honest, at the beginning. The vegan community is wonderful, but there's also very strong opinions about how you should do certain things. And, but what I found was I was, I did a lot of,
Mm-hmm. Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Mm-hmm. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Stephanie Dreyer (03:19.418)
I contributed to a lot of platforms and media and I started sharing that story with on those platforms and I was really surprised at what positive feedback I received and just people asking for more support in that area that they could relate and they were in the same situation. So Vegan Dinner Club is really the manifestation of all of that struggle into the system that I have living it still to this day and in out of how I feed my family with a plant core meal but have options for the rest of the family.
that so everyone's eating the same meal, I'm not stressed out, I'm still honoring my, you know, ideals and values and it really was the product of that.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, people always ask me that question. Like, what are you going to eat at Thanksgiving? And I go, everything's vegan except for the turkey or the ham. Come on, let's do this. If we do it the right way. So yeah, kudos to you. Like it's, it's awesome to say like there has to be this blend of these two family types that exist everywhere. And how do we, how do we say like, look, this is all plant based, here's your salad, here's this, that, and the other thing. And then if you still want to cook up your little piece of chicken, you can or something.
Stephanie Dreyer (04:07.451)
Stephanie Dreyer (04:28.188)
What is, tell us a little bit more about like the business model side of this, because you have the blogs, like I've seen several of your blogs and you have some great recipes out there and they look amazing and delicious. And so you can do that. But the dinner club makes it super easy for you. How much is it to get started and to be a member and see that?
Stephanie Dreyer (04:45.262)
Stephanie Dreyer (04:54.598)
Yeah, so it's only $1,199 a month and that gets you so I'll let me tell you it gives you and then I'll kind of back up and give you kind of the backstory on that but it's $1,199 a month and every week we deliver a dinner plan for dinners and a grocery list. It's an automated grocery list so you can customize it you know and add your own stuff as well. And then what I think sets us apart from other dinner meal plan memberships is a lot of plans just give you
the recipes. And I'm I don't really feel that helps you if you don't know how if you don't have a system for how to fit that into your life. I always say that your meal plan should work for you not create more work. So we also in addition to that we give you a prep plan that takes you step by step on how to get prepped like a few components or ingredients for those four dinners, like in a one and a half to two hour timeframe, like maybe on the weekend.
so that when you go to make dinner during the week, you have everything ready to go. And then I also coach you weekly. I have a private Facebook group, and I coach you and talk you through where's the best place to put this particular dinner in your schedule. Let's talk through how much time you have to dinner. So, and I love doing that. I love connecting with my members and helping them guide them through like what to, you know, how to make it work for you basically. So yeah, so that's.
Kind of a quick overview of the membership. And I really am a proponent of saying like, it is not one size fits all. So let's help you take what I'm giving you every week and fit it into your life. And I really am there coaching you and helping you every week to do just that.
Awesome. I think I'm not sure if we're having a little bit of internet trouble. Can you still hear me? Okay.
Stephanie Dreyer (06:48.955)
I can hear you great.
Okay, so I don't know why it's...
I can't see you and then, okay, you started coming back. So say something one more time. Make sure I can hear you okay.
Stephanie Dreyer (07:02.586)
Okay, well I can see you great and hear you great. Do you want me to?
OK, I don't know if it's on my side then or what it is. But anyway, we'll cut this little piece out where I'm just testing my internet here.
Stephanie Dreyer (07:12.098)
My internet showing is lixed. OK, no problem. You want me to repeat anything?
No, no, I don't think there's much we can do. I just, your video's a little bit grainy and then you cut in and out. But I think it's getting better. So OK, so let me go back to my questions and we'll pick up here.
Stephanie Dreyer (07:26.348)
So I love, I love, love the meal planning thing, because I've tried, you know, the purple carrots and all the other places out there and they send you this box and I feel like there's just so much waste and so much shipping costs of transportation. And I'm like, we're trying to change our health and the environment and save the animals and stuff. And I just feel like shipping these containers all around the country is just insane. I just love the concept of like you're doing.
90% of the work all we've got to do is shop for it and then prep it One day a week basically and you've got meals for the whole week, right? I mean, that's the that's the concept here. And so I just love this the way you've built the club and the membership and I hope a whole bunch of our listeners sign up and evolve on that front You said 13 years you've been doing this. It's about the same amount of time that I've been doing it
Stephanie Dreyer (08:17.202)
Yeah. Right. Exactly.
Stephanie Dreyer (08:31.97)
What have you noticed as the plant-based food landscape has changed and evolved over the years? What opportunities do you see for us entrepreneurs in this space?
Stephanie Dreyer (08:47.85)
Well, I mean, just the obvious is the sheer quantity of products available now that I mean, there was like two cheese options when I remember when we went vegan, I mean, it was and, and the quality that there weren't great options. They weren't so delicious, you know, there was no meyocos cheese back then. So I think.
Stephanie Dreyer (09:09.578)
I mean, I do think there is a lot of opportunity for vegan entrepreneurs because they're, and a lot of different, there's a lot of opportunity, I think, for collaboration because there are so many companies out there with products, but also there's so many content creators now in the space. And I really feel that collaboration, and especially in this community, we have such an amazing, the vegan entrepreneur community.
Stephanie Dreyer (09:34.994)
I just think collaboration is such a smart strategy for building your platform and for building your business. So I think that, you know, the more creative you can get, whether it's just doing, you know, interviews like this together or supporting each other or actually doing, you know, cross promotional campaigns together. I just think there's, you know, that's been a huge difference from when we I was first
getting into this because I just felt like a lone wolf out there. I was like, I don't know who to talk to, you know, it was really lonely. So I would say that's probably the biggest thing that I see a lot of opportunity there.
Mm-hmm. Right, yeah.
And how do you, how are you looping in the community for some of your recipes and stuff? Like I know, uh, that's just one of the keys for even our podcasts and stuff is like, how do we just involve the community and what people we want to interview and stuff like that? I'm just so curious. I love, Buffalo sauce still. I like, I still want to have Buffalo cauliflower, Buffalo, whatever. I can get my hands on Buffalo.
uh, style. So I just would love more recipes on that front, but I'm just curious where does the community, where has the community taken you that you weren't expecting and what are some of your like one-off recipes that you never would have thought of without the community?
Stephanie Dreyer (10:46.14)
Stephanie Dreyer (10:50.966)
Well, first of all, I just posted a buffalo, buffalo tofu sweet potato bowl recipe on the blog. So you should check that out. You'll love that. It's got cauliflower and tofu. So it's funny. So a lot of, so I have the private Facebook community. I did for a long time, I was doing live Facebook cooking classes every week, profiling some of the recipes and...
Awesome. I will definitely check that out.
Stephanie Dreyer (11:19.102)
I would I it's kind of I'm lucky and that I am my consumer, right? So I'm living and breathing this, which I think is kind of key is to obviously know your audience. But I have this unique perspective because I'm like, like what you said, like your kids, your you love the cumin, but they don't. I hear you on that. It's like, okay, well, how can I do this so that it's going to please a family, right? It can't just be for me. And so I have gotten that feedback from
Stephanie Dreyer (11:46.386)
in the group and my private group, I'll get, you know, it's interesting to see like how they've taken a recipe when they post the picture and say, Oh, this was such a great hit with my family. I added this or I tweaked that. Most of my ideas though come from my own life. And it's and it seems to be the right way to go because it seems to be working for the community. I don't get any pushback like, Oh, my kids hate this, whatever, because I'm living. I'm living the dream with them, right?
Absolutely, absolutely. So how are you? I would say you're making some money on your journey here and stuff. How else are you measuring success of your business as you're, as you're growing it here?
Stephanie Dreyer (12:24.866)
So for me, it's about the people I can help and reach. So I think, and I know that sounds like so cliche, but it's true. Like I'm not doing this for them. And I mean, it would be great if this was like blew up and was like, you know, thousands and thousands of people and whatever was the most popular membership in the whole world. But it's, I measured by the people that I reached. Like I have members from London who will like email me questions, Hey, I just went vegan and I'm struggling with this. Like
Stephanie Dreyer (12:53.122)
For me, at the end of the day, if I get, and I do get a lot of those messages of just people who are like reaching back, responding to my emails, answering the questions about their journey, and knowing that I had a little piece of being able to help them, because I didn't have that helping hand when I was going vegan, that to me is a way that I measure my success and my reach with people. Like, am I making a difference at the end of the day? Am I being the change that I want to see in this world?
Stephanie Dreyer (13:20.894)
Am I making a difference? I mean, that really for me is the big one.
Yeah, I think that's the overarching reason that we're all doing this in this plant-based movement, really. I mean, of course we want to make enough money to pay some bills and stuff, but we're doing it because we clearly see it's the right way for our health and for our family and everything else. So yeah, kudos to you. I look forward to reading and seeing more of your success stories on that front. So how do you see...
Stephanie Dreyer (13:31.531)
Stephanie Dreyer (13:47.116)
the role of like vegan dinner clubs shaping the greener, healthier world, particularly through the family eating habits.
Stephanie Dreyer (13:59.714)
So my goal at the end of the day is if I can get more people sitting down to the dinner table more often with homemade healthy food, then I've made a difference. That's like how I measure myself. So I really see vegan dinner club, like the role of the membership is to help people do that. And I'm hoping as the membership grows and evolves, I mean, I'm just almost three years into this. So I think that
Stephanie Dreyer (14:30.147)
I'd like to see the club grow into different ways and more against what you're saying. Really let the membership guide me in the community. What is it that they need? I really don't want to go subscription box. I've gotten some feedback like, oh, I wish you got the ingredients for me too. And I think, oh my gosh, there's some of the same reasons that you said.
Stephanie Dreyer (14:53.826)
But I don't know if that's where I need to go to help. I don't know, but I would like to stay on, be able to stay on the pulse, to be able to pivot, which is what I've been doing the last three years. I've pivoted a lot. The membership didn't look like this when I first started. We offered breakfast and snacks and it, you know, and then I realized, oh no, people really need help with dinner. That's what they need help with. So I think, you know, if I can keep my pulse on that and,
Stephanie Dreyer (15:21.622)
be an opportunity for people. Also a voice for the larger community that you can be vegan with a family and be busy and working and make it work. You don't, you know, my, I have a lot of non-vegans in my world, friends and loving, meaning well family who are like, oh, I could be vegan if you cooked for me. And I'm like, well, here you go. I can't cook for you, but I can give you everything that I'm cooking and the plan to do it. So I feel like.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, that's right.
Stephanie Dreyer (15:49.59)
You know, being able to offer more of those tools, then I'll be on the right track.
Absolutely. Yeah, I commend you on your efforts. I have been able to tip a few of my friends and family over to the plant side, as I say. So I wish you continued, continued luck. And on that front, what, what is in the future for, for a vegan dinner club? Just cause like the one idea that easily pops in my head, and I love to do this with my dad, who's like the staunch meat eater, is I try to make,
Stephanie Dreyer (16:04.974)
I don't know.
his favorite meals, like plant-based. And then I serve it to him and I say, I put the meat in it for you. And then I sit down next to him and eat the same exact thing. And he's like, this is good. Wait, you're eating it too? Oh, you tricked me kind of a thing, right? So I would love to see more of these similar things to convert more people over, but where do you see some of the stuff happening in the future for you? Anything on the radar?
Stephanie Dreyer (16:34.845)
Stephanie Dreyer (16:47.234)
And that, so, I mean, I'm really just focused right now on growing the membership. And I thought about the types of recipes that I provide. I try, I usually try to have, like I said, take components of them that you can make ahead of time to speed up dinner prep during the week. So I think getting more creative with that, I'd love to explore. I'm a huge Trader Joe's fan, and it doesn't matter where you shop. Any store that has like,
Stephanie Dreyer (17:15.074)
great products that you love that you can take and then simplify dinner. So I'd love to do like a series or kind of a subset of the membership or maybe there's like a set of meals that have these like quick hacks or something like that. That seems really fun to me and would be creative. I'd love to do a cookbook. I'd really, that's one of my big goals. I definitely have the recipes for it, the amount of recipes. Yeah.
Yeah, I was going to say I'm expecting the cookbook to come out. Yeah, absolutely. That's great.
Stephanie Dreyer (17:42.514)
Yeah, but right now I'd say I'm really focused on growing the membership. I have like a, you know, promotions that I do throughout the year. Like I, like Wednesday I'm doing like a live workshop on meal planning. So I want to do more of those. I want to do more free workshops. I want to do, um, I think it's October. Yeah, it's October. It's family meal, national family meals month. And so I'd love to get a challenge going. So spun like community challenges and workshops and things like that.
Stephanie Dreyer (18:11.186)
all that I would offer free to the community. I'd love to do more of that. And then it's a great way for me to talk about what I'm doing, but not in such a, you know, salesy way, if you will.
Yeah, for sure. Absolutely. No, that's those are some awesome things. And I will be first in line to grab one of your cookbooks when it comes out. So let's see that one coming. What what quick advice would you give other plant based entrepreneurs out there as they get started on their journey?
Stephanie Dreyer (18:28.818)
Stephanie Dreyer (18:39.15)
I would say focus on what you love. There is about what you're doing. And I say that because, and especially from when I started to where social media is now is also a big change. And social media was great for me when I started in the blogging and all of that really helped me gain a following. I think it's really changed now. And I don't know about any other content creators out there but I really struggle with like, what's the right balance.
Stephanie Dreyer (19:06.174)
I'm constantly looking at is this really, is this channel giving me what I'm putting out, putting in, getting out what I'm putting in and trying to do all the things. And so what I've recently just really tried to focus in on is like focus on the content, like deliver. Like my core reason for being here is to get them to the table more often. So I really need to make sure my recipes are good and that the menus I'm delivering them are good and they're delicious, right? So.
Stephanie Dreyer (19:35.87)
All the other stuff is great. If I can get to it, great, but at the core of it, I wanna make sure that I'm delivering a great product. So I would really remind people, that's where you wanna start. It's really easy to get distracted with all these fun other little things that everybody's telling you have to do. And at the end of the day, you gotta focus on what you're there to do first. So if that helps anybody to be like, oh, you have permission to not do everything.
That's right, yeah.
That's right. That's right. Exactly. And, and chip away at it. I think another thing, consistency, you've definitely proven that consistency as well. So what, how do people support you? How do we get in touch with you again? What are the best ways?
Stephanie Dreyer (20:12.654)
Stephanie Dreyer (20:19.93)
Yeah, so well, vegan dinner club.com is where you can find us online. Find me online. Hello at vegan dinner club. If you want to reach out to me personally, I read all my emails. And then on social media, we are really it's at vegan underscore dinner underscore club for tick tock and Instagram and Facebook. We're just at vegan dinner club. So
Stephanie Dreyer (20:45.978)
Yeah, I mean, I just go to the website. It has all that information there, but, you know, I welcome, welcome everybody. Reach out. I love to connect with people and just share the journey. You know, we got to support each other.
That's right. That's right. That's right. Well, that is all the time we have for this episode of Plant Based on Fire. Thank you so much, Stephanie, for joining us and sharing more information about Vegan Dinner Club. Check out that website and we will be back in touch soon with more insights and experiences from our community. Until next time, keep that fire burning.