sudo shoesQ&A By Suzanne Kvilhaug
For Vegan Villager

What’s the Why behind Sudo Shoes? 

The Why is pretty simple. Until we opened the nearest vegan shoe store was in Manhattan! Roughly 5% of the local population identifies as vegan or vegetarian. The Boston commuting area is home to a little over 7 million people, that’s 350,000 veg folks without a shoe store, not to mention those a little farther out in New England.

What percentage of customers would you guess are vegan? 

Surprisingly it’s about 50/50.

If you had a mission statement, what would it be?  

I believe that most people truly live according to their principals only when doing so is made possible and practical by the society or market which they exist within. For example, if the nearest vegan shop is hundreds of miles away many people will indeed just take the next best thing, a cheap synthetic shoe likely made with animal glues, in other words not at all vegan.

If we had a mission statement it would be something like: “Sudo strives to create a market where veg minded people can easily find shoes and bags that don’t ask them to sacrifice their principals.”

Did any other vegan stores influence or inspire you?  

Moo Shoes in New York City, how could it not?  I just love the store and they were the pioneers, in the U.S. anyway. That’s where I bought all of my shoes…until now of course.

Ten years ago, did you imagine yourself owning a vegan shoe store?  

Nope, but I did always assume that someone else would open one in Boston. It surprised me that it never happened so I decided to open Sudo.

Before opening, did you have a fear of the business failing?  

I always believed that Sudo would work, if I didn’t truly believe it I never would have been able to follow through with all the various tasks and challenges required to get opened in the first place. It did work too! We’re a small team and we are always growing but Sudo was paying the bills from day one.

Do most people know that it’s an all vegan shoe store before stepping foot inside?

Yes, most do know what we’re up to, but not all! It’s funny but when you allow people to figure it out for themselves they’re almost always excited and supportive of this cool shop which they discovered, there’s a sense of being in on something. If you just blurt it out and they don’t happen to be veg they often feel immediately unwelcome.

Has Cambridge proven to be a good choice? Why or why not?  

Cambridge was a great choice, the neighbors are really supportive and friendly and Cantabrigians are just very educated and conscientious people in general.

What’s the farthest anyone has traveled from to shop at Sudo?  

There’s a lot of competition for that title! Boston is a big hub for international business so we regularly get people from literally the other side of the world. We have regular customers from San Francisco, Japan and many from France and the U.K.

What is the best part about owning the store?

Saving animal hides!

Along with the common assumption that synthetic shoes are automatically vegan, what are other misconceptions about vegan shoes?

I have experienced a lot of misconceptions about vegan shoes. People think that they’re saving animals if they buy vegan shoes but they are also making a much more environmentally friendly choice when they stop buying leather shoes. They often forget to take into account the impact that raising cattle has on the planet.

Also, I’ve been wearing this same pair of vegan Chelsea Boots every day for over 5 years! Vegan shoes last as long, maybe even longer than leather shoes.

What advice would you give someone opening a small vegan business?

Believe in it and hire people who believe in it. The business is most likely to succeed if it’s an extension of who you are.  You should be proud of every aspect of the business, if you’re not then change something.

 Sudo Shoes is located at 1771 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge (Porter Square). Tel. 617.354.1771 – email: info@sudoshoes.com


VEGAN AND VEGAN-FRIENDLY STORES
AND VENDORS IN MASSACHUSETTS

If you would like to see other vegan establishments listed here, please let us know by writing to us at veganvillagercentral@gmail.com. If you would like to make a comment about this listing or a particular place on the list, feel free to use the Comments section below and/or join our Forum and create a posting on the subject there.

KEY:
V
(Vegan/no animal products)
MV (Vegan except bee product or dairy; specified when used)

VF (Vegan Friendly)
R (Raw)
MR (Mostly Raw)
RF (Raw Friendly)

Map available by clicking address
A New O’Leaf (VF): 261 Cabot Street, Beverly – 978-927-5955
Annye’s Whole Foods (VF, RF): 14 Amelia Drive, Nantucket – 508-228-4554
Bev’s Bakery (V): 3 Coppersmith Way, Townsend – 978-300-5226
141 Bradford Natural Market (VF): 141 Bradford Street, Provincetown – 508-487-9784
Cape Cod Natural Foods (VF, RF): 1600 Route 28, Centerville – 508-771-8394
Common Crow Natural Market (VF, RF): 6 Elm Street, Gloucester – 978-283-1665
Chatham Natural Market (VF, RF): 1218 Main Street, Cape Cod, Chatham – 508-945-4139
Dennisport Natural Market (VF, RF): 640 Main Street, Cape Cod – 508-760-3043
Down to Earth Natural Foods (VF): 751 Kempton Street, New Bedford – 508-996-1995
Fiore’s Bakery (VF): 55 South Street, Jamaica Plain – 617-524-9200
Flour Bakery (VF): 12 Farnsworth Street, Boston – 617-338-4333
Good Health Natural Foods (VF): 1630 Hancock Street, Quincy – 617-773-4925
Green Street Natural Foods (VF, RF): 164 Green Street, Melrose – 781-662-7741
Harvest Coop Market (VF, RF): 580 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge – 617-661-1580
Healthy Appetites Natural Foods (VF, RF): 44 Long Pond Road, Plymouth – 508-747-8100
Mamma Mickis (VF): 37 Front Street, Scituate – 781-545-9900
MEM Tea Imports (V): 49 Elm Street, Watertown – 617-627-9500
Miso Market (VF): 1963 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge – 617-945-7789
Organic Rainbow (VF, RF): 267 Rantoul Street, Beverly – 978-927-4600
Orleans Whole Foods Store (VF, RF): 46 Main Street, Orleans – 508-255-6540
POSHA Green (V): 617-340-9080
Sudo Shoes (V): 1771 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge – 617-354-1771
Taza Chocolate (MV): 561 Windsor Street, Somerville – 617-623-0804
The Natural Grocer (VF): 334 High Street, Newburyport – 978-463-8713
The Natural Food Exchange (VF): 343 Main Street, Reading – 781-944-8498
Trident Bookstore and Café (VF): 338 Newbury Street, Boston – 617-267-8688
Wild Oats (VF): 12 West Street, Beverly – 978-921-0411
25 Central: 150 Main Street #27, Northampton – 413-586-8017
Artichoke Food Coop (VF): 800 Main Street, Worcester – 508-752-3533
Bark Back Bakery (VF): 15 North Main Street, Bellingham – 508-275-2275
Berkshire Co-op Market (VF): 42 Bridge Street, Great Barrington – 413-528-9697
Better Life Whole Foods (VF): 1500 Allen Street, Springfield – 413-783-9424
Choice Health (VF): 307 East Main Street, Westfield – 413-568-8333
Cornucopia (VF): 150 Main Street, Suite 8  Northampton – 413-586-3800
Cushman Market and Café (VF): 491 Pine Street, Amherst – 413-549-0100
George Howell Coffee Roasters: 312 School Street, Acton – 866-444-5282
Green Fields Market (VF): 144 Main Street, Greenfield – 413-773-9567
Guido’s Fresh Marketplace (VF): 1020 South Street, Pittsfield – 413-442-9912
Lenox Natural Foods (VF): 11 Housatonic Street, Lenox – 413-637-2721
Living Earth (VF): 234 Chandler Street, Worcester – 508-753-1896
McCusker’s Market (VF): 3 State Street, Shelburne Falls – 413-625-9411
Pittsfield Health Food Center (VF): 407 North Street, Pittsfield – 413-442-5662
Roots Natural Foods (VF): 100 Crawford Street, Leominster – 978-534-7668
Simple Enough Natural Foods (VF): 18 Lyman Street, Westborough – 508-366-7037
Suki Skincare (VF): 99 Industrial Drive, Northampton – 413-584-7854
Sweeties Fine Chocolate (VF): 58 Main Street, Northampton – 413-586-4180
The Bun Always Rises (V): 12 Arnold Avenue, Northampton – 973-902-1474
The River Valley Market (VF): 330 N King Street, Northampton – 413-585-5151
Wild Oats Food Coop (VF): 320 Main Street, Williamstown – 413-458-8060