If you visit the monthly Vegan Shop-Up at Pine Box Rock Shop in Bushwick, there’s likely to be a line winding through the length of the bar or down the block. If you join the line and ask the person in front of you if this is in fact the line for Peaceful Provisions, they’ll probably say yes before you even finish asking the question. After no more than a couple of minutes, someone will likely line up behind you and ask if this is the line for doughnuts. Among the vegan community of Brooklyn, everyone knows that Peaceful Provisions’ doughnuts are the hot commodity.
Given the crowds they draw at pop-up events and their Instagram following of over 17,000, it’s hardly an exaggeration to say Peaceful Provisions has a cult following. Its owners, and sole staff, are twin sisters Justine and Brittany Soto who often enlist help from their older sister, Bridget.
Preparing food has been a lifelong passion for Brittany and Justine. “Ever since we were little, that’s how we would show our appreciation to our friends and family; we’d develop six-course menus and be in the kitchen all day,” Justine says. The plan wasn’t always to run a pastry business together, but over the last three years they’ve made a name for themselves and have their eyes on big things to come.
The company doesn’t have its own brick-and-mortar location yet. Instead, Justine and Brittany work out of the kitchen at First Village Coffee in Ossining, New York, where they serve their famed doughnuts on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30am until the goods run out. It’s for this reason that Brooklyn vegans (and non-vegan doughnut connoisseurs) are happy to wait in line once or twice a month when Peaceful Provisions comes to the Vegan Shop-Up or Vegan Market at the Market Hotel.
Brittany has classical training and a long résumé in pastry making and was working as a pastry chef in San Diego before the sisters started the business. Justine, originally intimidated by the intense demands of a career in food, had decided after high school to channel her love for food into a career as a registered dietician. Eventually becoming burned out by the stresses and politics of institutional healthcare, Justine went out West to visit her sister. It was on this trip that the two got back into cooking and baking together like they had as kids.
Justine introduced Brittany to the vegan culinary world and “It was both of our ‘aha’ moments,” Brittany says. She and Justine went back to Westchester and Peaceful Provisions was born.
While it could be about two years away, the Soto sisters are now making plans to secure their own storefront in New York City. They credit the support of the city’s vegan community for encouraging them to keep going for the last few years.
“When people are holding a box of your doughnuts and say, ‘I came here just for you, thank you for being here,’” Justine says, “you think, that’s why I was up at midnight getting ready for this. That’s why I do all of this. It makes sense.”