Jersey City Veggie Burgers Celebrates First Anniversary
Elizabeth Migliore (pictured above) is the granddaughter of a former Jersey City butcher, but she won’t be bringing hamburgers to a barbecue. Instead, she has developed three varieties of all-vegan patties: sweet potato collard green, white bean and broccoli rabe, and the newest flavor, Three Sisters (squash, corn, and beans). “Three Sisters” refers to three main agricultural crops grown by Native Americans. In just 7-8 minutes, anyone can enjoy a Jersey City Veggie Burger, which can be eaten in a number of creative ways.
“I made veggie burger stuffed peppers last week, and they were awesome! I was inspired by a dish made by Colleen Christi Willett for her catering business, Bread & Spoon,” says Migliore. “I stuffed a purple pepper with a thawed veggie burger and then put it on the grill. It was delicious and a great thing to eat on a hot summer day.”
While many commercial brands of veggie burgers contain soy and other processed ingredients, Jersey City Veggie Burgers contain nothing but whole, fresh ingredients like grains, vegetables, beans and spices.
July 18th marked the first anniversary of Jersey City Veggie Burgers, which can be found at stores and farmers markets throughout Jersey City. Currently, her burgers can be purchased at Doco Market & Cafe, P & K Food Market, Historic Downtown Jersey City Farmers Market, Hamilton Park Farmers Market, and Riverview Farmers Market. Earlier this month, Migliore had the chance to serve her burgers at a block party celebrating Mayor Fulop’s inauguration.
“The community response has been so positive and uplifting! I have a lot of customers who are first time veggie burger eaters,” she says. “That makes me so happy because I love helping people expand their culinary horizons.”
This year, Migliore plans to move into a more permanent kitchen space. Currently, she rents a commercial kitchen on an hourly basis. She also hopes to get packaged burgers into more independent grocery stores and markets not only in Jersey City but throughout North and Central New Jersey.
Migliore believes one of the highlights of the past year has been the opportunity to meet many new people, especially other female entrepreneurs in Jersey City.
“I’ve formed some great friendships with other women who are just starting up their businesses like me. Running your own business is challenging, so having people who can relate to the unique triumphs and frustrations is a huge help,” says Migliore. “There’s a great spirit of camaraderie, and it’s very motivating to see other women succeed.”
Photo by Pat Migliore