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FREDERICTON–The quest for vegan garlic fingers led 25-year-old Alexandra Mackie to change career paths. Now, the psychology major is running Fredericton’s newest pizza joint.

After graduating from St. Thomas University with a degree in psychology and obtaining a job in her field, she quit to pursue her passion: vegan pizzas.

“I’ve always cooked on a personal level and that kind of became my solace,” says Mackie, “when I wasn’t happy at my job, I would make new recipes and cook up pizzas.”

Mackie quit her job to start working on a food truck but was laid off due to the pandemic. That’s when she decided she wanted to make a product of her own to sell.

“I want to feed vegan people in Fredericton. I’ve always loved pizza, it’s so nostalgic for me, I think it is for a lot of people,” she told Huddle in a recent interview.

Mackie has been food blogging since 2018. She says she felt encouraged after getting a lot of interest in the vegan meals she was creating and posting.

She has been a vegan for four years, and a vegetarian before that, and says garlic fingers and cheese pizzas are hard to find as a vegan. While many restaurants have vegan options, vegan-only restaurants are hard to find in Fredericton.

Mackie opened Cool Cat Pizza in December 2021.

“I tried to find connections and find a way that I could fit into the current vegan market because it’s such a great community,” she said.

Her business operates out of Chef Rick’s kitchen. Fortunately, because it is a catering and take-out business, Covid-19 restrictions concerning restaurants did not apply.

Mackie says frozen or fridge pizzas are what the market needs right now.

She partnered with Scottage Cheeze Dairy Free/Vegan Products; a business based out of Fredericton. They provide pizza toppings like an almond-based cheese substitute and three meat substitutes: pepperoni, chicken, and donair meat.

“It’s all about local,” says Mackie, “when I decided to open my business, it was a very clear partnership.”

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Source: https://huddle.today/2022/02/15/meet-the-former-psychologist-behind-frederictons-new-vegan-pizza/

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