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Vegan restaurant in Virginia Beach featured on 'Shark Tank'

bumbling bee vegan restaurant.jpg
Posted at 4:11 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 16:46:07-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Bumbling Bee Vegan Junk Food and Burger Bar is buzzing after getting national attention. The small restaurant was recently featured on the show “Shark Tank.”

The episode aired Friday, and the owner says they’re getting a lot of welcomed attention.

Unfortunately, for Cassandra Ayala and her daughters who help run the restaurants in both Virginia Beach and in Boulder, Colorado, they did not get the deal they asked for on the show. Ayala described it as a great experience, and she said she feels blessed to be successful with what they have.

“I think every business right now is focusing on not taking steps but learning how to stand. We are all standing and trying hard not to fall, and I say that for all small businesses across the United States,” Ayala commented.

Ayala says that every dish in the restaurant is vegan.

“We’re blowing minds because it’s 100% vegan, dripping with juicy deliciousness,” Ayala exclaimed.

“You know what? Vegans are normal people who for multiple different reasons eat a different lifestyle without animal products. It might be they want to reduce their carbon footprint. It might be ethical reasons. It might be health reasons. It doesn’t mean they don’t crave a fat, juicy burger or loaded fries,” explained Ayala. “It doesn’t mean they eat plants, twigs and berries all the time.”

The Bumbling Bee has milkshakes and an award-winning chili cheese dog with cheese made from oat milk. Their top seller is similar to a chicken sandwich.

“It’s soy and then we double dip it and then we fry it, and then we put coleslaw, pickles and house aioli,” described India Ayala, who is one of Cassandra’s daughters. She runs the Virginia Beach location and says they want to be a restaurant everyone will crave.

“We want a place where non-vegan families and vegan families can come together and enjoy a space where everyone can find something they enjoy,” Ayala said.

Customer Elizabeth Mullen, who said she’s been eating vegan for a couple of years, said she does crave junk food sometimes and really enjoys the Bumbling Bee.

“Bumbling Bee is delicious whether you’re vegan or not. I think everyone should have a taste,” said Mullen.

The owner said their restaurant is also great for people who have certain kinds of food allergies. Ayala described having a child come in who had never been to a restaurant or had a milkshake. She said it made her day!

Related: Takeout Tuesday: Caribbean restaurant pushes on for vegan community

“I don’t care if I had another customer that day or that week - that child was worth every minute that we’ve invested into the Bumbling Bee!"

The Bumbling Bee also has a food truck and visits different breweries and festivals. Click here for more on their restaurant, and for more of the interview, watch above.