When Dawn Yun became a vegetarian more than 25 years ago, she was dismayed by how few delicious meat-free food options were available. It wasn’t until she tasted a flavor-packed cashew butter product that she decided to develop a vegan spread that everyone could enjoy without compromising on flavor.
“I didn’t want my creation to taste like a stereotypical vegan food,” explains Yun, who in July launched four flavors of her Creativ Cashew Cream: Himalayan Salt, Ancho Chile, Mexican Chocolate and Caramel Churro. She touts them as an “artisan dairy alternative” and sells them at two farmers’ markets and a handful of local grocery stores.
“It is without question the hardest thing I have ever done,” says the journalist/advertising professional-turned-entrepreneur. She cites two longtime Marin grocers for providing invaluable help along the way—David Canepa of Mill Valley Market, who offered sage business advice, and United Markets owner, Bill Daniels, who encouraged her through every step.
Yun, a San Rafael resident since 2000, rents a commercial kitchen in Petaluma and produces her Creativ Cashew Cream products fresh two days a week. She is a one-woman show and does everything from recipe development, to attaching labels to each container of spread to packing them up in cases of six for delivery.
Now a vegan, Yun strongly believes that her tasty nut-based offerings can help shift eating habits toward more plant-based diets—which in turn, will change the world. Find these locally made products in Marin at Mill Valley Market, United Markets and the Sunday Marin Farmers’ Market (Marin County Civic Center, San Rafael), and impress friends and family with this Himalayan Salt Cashew Cream Pizza, recipe courtesy of Yun.
Creativ Cashew Cream, 415/233-2483; creativcashewcream.com.
Himalayan Salt Cashew Cream Pizza
One fresh, frozen or handmade 12-inch pizza crust (wheat, gluten-free or cauliflower)
1 container of Himalayan Salt Cashew Cream
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms
1 cup broccoli florets
1 red pepper
2 tablespoons of oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
-Slice vegetables into thin slices.
-Heat oil in pan.
-Sauté eggplant until it starts to wilt.
-Remove eggplant and let drain on paper towels.
-Sauté onions until translucent.
-In same pan, add fresh red pepper, mushrooms and broccoli and sauté until they just start to brown and then remove from heat.
-Spread cashew cream on crust so it is completely covered.
-Arrange eggplant slices around pizza in a round design.
-Sprinkle remaining vegetables atop eggplant.
-Sprinkle garlic powder and red pepper flakes on top.
-Pop into oven under 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
-Remove, sprinkle with salt and black pepper.