New Vegan-nings

Paraprofessional Chris Powers’ journey with veganism and entrepreneurship


Courtesy of Chris Powers

Paraprofessional Chris Powers poses with one St. Luv’s treat bags and one treat.

Mixing vegan chocolate chips, powdered sugar and peanut butter together, paraprofessional Chris Powers crafts a new treat for his vegan business St. Luv. Outside of class, Powers runs a vegan bakery and explores sustainable and alternative ways to create vegan desserts.

Powers began his journey with plant-based eating when he was 15 and soon became passionate about the lifestyle and animal rights. 

“I had a normal American diet [and] upbringing. Now [my family] all know, understand, cater to my dietary choices and love the foods I eat,” Powers said. “[For a while] I would pretty much starve at family gatherings and also feel really left out. It is such a mind shift going plant-based because all the sudden you notice that everyone is eating animal carcasses—and they treat you like you’re the weirdo.”

Plant-based eating is all about finding ways to ground your diet in whole foods and vegetables, and modifying what one already eats. Rather than a regimented diet, the new style of eating focuses on healthier eating choices. 

I originally went plant-based because I had a couple girlfriends that were veg-head, and I realized that just eliminating the pepperoni from my pizza would make me a vegetarian,” Powers said. “I figured I would do it until it became too hard, but as it turned out, it was so easy. It wasn’t until later that it really sank in how virtuous it is for the animals, the planet and personal health.”

As he delved deeper into veganism he became passionate about its moral foundation. This passion ignited his future entrepreneurial goals. 

“[Veganism] is a whole new level of virtue, it expands beyond anything I’ve ever experienced because whatever your reasoning behind a vegan life path, it’s better for your health, better for the planet and better for the animals. More and more people are getting into it and, because of that, meat replacements are becoming more popular. It’s one of those situations where everybody wins,” Powers said. “Animals feel the pain and if we can avoid that, we should as much as possible. A veggie hot dog tastes just like a regular hot dog, the veggie hot dog came from a farm and [is] spiced. The other hot dog had a pig in captivity. I ask if that’s what I want in me, so I choose the veggie hot dog.”

Veganism soon became his business interest when he discovered his favorite vegan business would be closing down. He began St. Luv, a vegan bakery, with his wife.


A Happinut Peanut Butter Cup from St. Luv. (Chris Powers)

“I went to the grocery store to get something for myself and my wife and I found out that the business I had been going to was going out of business. I’m going to try to make everything as gluten-free as possible, but also price-affordable so that nobody is left out. I hope to keep getting accounts and let it grow into whatever it wants to become,” Powers said.


St. Luv sells their baked goods to various restaurants in the St. Louis area as menu additions. Customers can find St. Luv goods such as brownies, oatmeal cream pies and butter cups, at Pizza Head, Road Crew Coffee and Cycles, Local Harvest and Stone Spiral Coffee and Curios.

“[To see our goods being sold] feels wonderful. We have ‘love’ listed as the first ingredient on the ingredients list, and it’s so true. We give life to every product, and wish it happy vibes,” Powers said.

As St. Luv expands in the future, Powers hopes to sell to more restaurants and spread the love for veganism. 

“I think it would be awesome if everybody took the time to try a vegan diet out for a while, so they could at least see that animal flesh is not essential for human survival or necessary for good taste,” Powers said. “There are so many flesh replacers that are so insanely delicious, and when choosing plant-based, it benefits the animal, decreases pollution and omits tons of flesh-based sicknesses. I want anybody to be able to enjoy a St. Luv Treat, and that is my business.”