Radish Kitchen is a dedicated vegan facility. All products created and sold in this store are made from whole foods. Our mission is to make plant-based and vegan eating more available and accessible to the region. We approach every avenue with kindness at the forefront as our goal is to always do the least amount of harm. This is why collaboration, education, community building, and compassion for the Earth, for all beings, and for each other are our core values.
Radish Kitchen started as Up Beet Jams, which began in the summer of 2020 while Jam was in-between adjunct teaching positions at Illinois State University and Illinois Central College. She began cooking weekly meals for a friend, which grew into a few friends then their friends until it became clear this service was needed in the community
The opportunity to feed the people in Central Illinois up to this point has been especially rewarding in several ways. As much as plant-based, whole food, and vegan meals have grown into a passion, what is loved even more is the way Up Beet Jams has allowed for a deeper connection to the community, a sharing of knowledge while learning from others, and the space to grow and shift on a personal level. We have also contributed to mutual aid efforts, collaborated with local artists and businesses, and found our way into small grocery store fridges. Up Beet Jams went from cooking meals for three friends out of Jam’s tiny home kitchen to cooking meals for up to 56 people each week in a commercial kitchen space at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in only a year. All of these efforts have helped this business feel supported by and connected to people in the Peoria community whether that’s from dedicated customers who order meals weekly, fellow small businesses that have shared insight and resources, nonprofits who join in collaboration to accomplish shared goals, local farmers who supply produce, or new and old friends who showed up to help with deliveries or cook.
This past year especially has allowed the ability to find new confidence in all of these goals as UBJ has navigated unique ways to make plant-based and vegan eating more approachable, affordable, and accessible to the Peoria region.