Eric Brent, HappyCow
Twenty years ago, Eric Brent presciently founded HappyCow, a free online service that lists sources of vegan and vegetarian food all over the world including restaurant, grocery stores and all other type of vegan-friendly businesses and services. Since its inception, the platform has become the go-to resource for vegans and plant-based enthusiasts who religiously check the app for cruelty-free eateries, reviews, and suggestions. HappyCow has evolved into a full media platform, with on vegan recipes, travel destination guides, health articles and trending plant-based news. We had the opportunity to talk to Eric about everything from his inspiration to launch HappyCow to where he sees the plant-based dining world going in the future, as well as his thoughts on how much veganism has grown in recent years.
GQ: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us, Eric! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you started HappyCow? We would love to know more about the journey that got you here. What’s the HappyCow story?
EB: Thank you for having me here. When I finished college and started to travel non-stop for 15 years, and I was already vegan at the time, there was no easy way to find out where vegan restaurants were because it was before the internet age. I really struggled to find where I could go to eat vegan food. Eventually, when the internet became available, people did post some information but there was nothing comprehensive out there. After about a year of procrastinating, I decided to go ahead and do it myself without much thought about what it would become. I taught myself how to make websites, and I decided to put together a basic version of what HappyCow is now, and later on, I had a friend help me make it more dynamic…