Veggie Land in Brea to Close :-(

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As a vegan, I make it a point to support businesses such as Brea's Veggie Land as often as possible because I never know when a niche, mom-and-pop grocery store catering to my hippie diet is going to fail. Unless, of course, said store sends a mass email telling me they are closing, which is exactly what happened with Veggie Land.

Located in a Brea strip mall, Veggie Land had all sorts of frozen vegan/vegetarian food consisting mostly of faux meats, Asian specialty foods such as sauces and organic miso, canned goods, spices and pasta. The other half of the store was devoted to New Age wellness products for human consumption (ie vitamins and protein powders) and cleaning supplies.

I was introduced to Veggie Land through their Sunday cooking classes held in the back of the store. For five bucks, owner Linda Lin would teach a steady stream of regulars how to make awesome dishes such as vegan chicken tikka masala, vegan kung pow shrimp and vegan kimchi. Sessions began with a smoothie demonstration by Lin's husband and ended with a tasting of the food. Veggie Land stressed eco-friendliness and suggested students bring their own utensils, which everyone happily did. Lin made the preparation look easy, but damn it, my versions of her recipes were never as good as hers, which might be why I kept coming back.

But the monthly email reminders stopped showing up in my inbox, and I didn't know why. I do know that once I forgot about my weekly cooking classes, I damn near forgot all about Veggie Land. Unfortunately, it seems like I'm not the only one.

Luckily, a post on Veggie Land's Facebook page says they plan to continue selling products on their website, but no matter how much Sriracha you dump on the screen, you can't eat the Internet.

So now's a good time to stock up on all things veggie as the store is having a going-out-of-business sale. Frozen and refrigerated foods are buy-two-get-one free or 30 percent off while supplements, vitamins and cleaning products are buy-one-get-one free or 40 percent off. Veggie Land is even selling everything down to their kitchen sink and according to their email, "All prices negotiable Cash only."

Veggie Land told me they were staying open until Oct. 31, but stressed that I should not wait that long to buy something. Perhaps that's a business ploy or simply helpful advice. Either way, I'm not waiting a month to stock up on vegan goodies and neither should you.

Oh, and not that this matters much, but of the nine Yelp reviews, everyone seems to agree with me that this place ruled, so I won't be the only one who misses Veggie Land.

Veggie Land, 1027 E. Imperial Hwy., #D2, Brea, (714) 529-3888; www.veggielandbrea.com.

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