I had a really pleasant exchange yesterday with two different people who work at Wegman's while I was requesting the much lauded new vegan cheese made by Field Roast. The cheese is called Chao, and apparently it is the JAM!! It seems that this cheese actually tastes good uncooked, which was enough to ignite my taste buds. Cheese and crackers! Cold cheese sandwiches! Sneaking slices straight out of the package! I have really missed the cold cheese experience. Anyway, as the weeks and reviews went on, it was nowhere to be found in my city. I requested Chao cheese at the local Co-op, but still to no avail. So, yesterday I called the Wegman's store closest to me, and had a lovely convo about this product, and this person advised me to also contact the customer service (corporate office?) and make a request there too. And I had another lovely convo, and found out it will be making it's way to a shelf in Wegman's sometime in the near future. I couldn't be more thrilled!
This whole exchange just reminded me that we vegans should speak up and request vegan items to be stocked. I don't know about anyone else, but for me sometimes I feel nervous or shy to ask, because I have had some very rude responses in my past while doing that. But, even if someone is snarky, snark isn't the end of the world. And sometimes when you ask, people actually respond with kindness and respect. I feel like all oft these companies are doing such great work for the animals by really making some stellar products, and it's up to us to demand that stores cater to more than the SAD crowd.
I'm really just sharing this experience as encouragement to anyone who is nervous, or has had some kind of bad experience requesting something. Just keep asking. If one store turns you down, request at another store. Stores want to make money, and vegans have money to spend(sometimes) just like everyone else, and often vegan foods are more expensive than their non-vegan counterpoints, so it's a win win!