Follow Your Heart (company)
|Industry||Vegetarian and Vegan Food|
|Predecessor||Johnny Weissmuller’s American Natural Foods|
|Founders||Michael Besançon, Bob Goldberg, Paul Lewin, and Spencer Windbiel|
|Headquarters||Canoga Park, California|
Follow Your Heart is a vegan and vegetarian food company that began in 1970 as a restaurant in Canoga Park, California. In 1977, they began selling Vegenaise, an egg-free mayonnaise substitute whose name is a portmanteau of vegan and mayonnaise. The company now also produces other lines of vegan food, such as vegan cheeses, salad dressings, and VeganEgg.
The company began as a sandwich counter in the back of a market called Johnny Weissmuller’s American Natural Foods in Canoga Park, In 1994 the restaurant and store suffered serious damage in the Los Angeles earthquake, but remained in business.
The company developed a line of its own vegetarian food. One of its first successes was Vegenaise, which became the best-selling vegan mayonnaise replacement in the US,  invented by co-founder Bob Goldberg. Up to fifty million gallons of it are produced annually, and the product is also sold in various alternate forms, including soy-free (where the soy is replaced with pea protein powder). They developed a line of deli products, first available commercially in 1988 after a local grocer asked the restaurant to begin packaging its tofu salads for them to put out for sale, focused on plant-based replacements for more traditional non-vegan foods. sliced cheese replacements mirroring the flavors of various types of cheese. Its products are sold in 23 countries, with a turnover of about $50 million in revenues per year.
In 2015 Follow Your Heart was named the company of the year by PETA. That year the company also partnered with musician Lil B to produce an app of Follow Your Heart-inspired emojis; the company’s mascot is itself named VegEmoji.
- "Love vegetarian food? Follow Your Heart to this Canoga Park restaurant". 17 January 2017.
- Morris, Regan (19 December 2016). "The vegan boss who followed his heart" – via www.bbc.com.
- "This is What It's Like Being Vegetarian for 50 Years (and Starting One of the Biggest Vegan Food Brands Ever)". 30 July 2017.
- Chandra, Gowri (3 April 2017). "The Little Canoga Park Vegetarian Restaurant That Created the Natural Foods Industry".
- Hudson, Janet (1 July 2012). "The Easy Vegan: Over 440 Delicious Recipes and Menus for Every Day of the Year". Hampton Roads Publishing – via Google Books.
- "This Is How Your Favorite Vegan Mayonnaise Gets Made". 22 July 2016.
- "How This Plant-Based Food Pioneer Has Been Shaping the Future of Food for the Past 40 Years - One Green Planet". www.onegreenplanet.org.
- Sentenac, Hannah (23 April 2015). "Follow Your Heart's New Vegan American Cheese Melts, Tastes Like the Real Thing".
- "The Hippy Cashing in on the Vegan Craze". Money Week.
- "Lil B Unveils New vegEMOJI App With Vegan Company Follow Your Heart". Complex.