A Passion for Compassion with Jess and Nicole

by | Mar 26, 2019 | Cover Story

“It is bigger than your taste buds…just give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.”

Jess and Nicole Guidroz are a local vegan couple with a passion for compassion. Married for five years, together for a decade, and the parents of two children, Kaleb and Ellie, the Canyon High alumni are working hard to spread the message of a healthy, cruelty-free lifestyle in their hometown. Their current collaborative work project has been to plant a fruitful seed in the Santa Clarita Valley, with the first SCV Veg Fest coming to Central Park on May 4th. This is just the beginning for the dynamic duo, and their activism runs deeper than simply what is on the menu.

Both Jess, an English teacher at La Mesa Jr. High, and Nicole, a Registered Nurse, committed to being vegan about one year ago. They were initially motivated to make a change by their families: Jess’ father suffered a heart attack in his late 40’s, and Nicole’s family has a history of cancer – it was time to redirect the course for themselves and their children. Destination: a healthier way of life. And with an abundance of learned information from various vegan spokespersons, podcasts, and documentaries, Jess and Nicole haven’t looked back – in fact, they’ve looked ahead to all the possibilities that come with this new shift in perspective.
There are a limited number of vegan options when eating and shopping in Santa Clarita, so Jess and Nicole created Veg Fest to expose attendees to alternative, health-conscious, cruelty-free foods and companies. They and their core team of about ten like-minded locals have spent over a year putting the pieces together: booking vendors, scheduling entertainment, all to make the festival a truly unforgettable experience for everyone involved.
SCV Veg Fest was formulated with the community in mind – meaning it’s not just for people who are vegan. “You’ll be shocked at how amazing vegan cuisine is now,” Jess assured when asked what people following a carnivorous diet could look forward to at Veg Fest. There will be alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available as well. The official lineup of cruelty-free vendors and activities is still being finalized, but some brands are currently listed on www.SCVVegFest.com, making it easier to preview the options for food and fun that will be offered.
This may be the first, but it is not the last vegan event that Santa Clarita will see from Jess and Nicole Guidroz. They have a few other possible plant-based happenings in store for the future, and we will hear more about that and SCV Veg Fest in the upcoming weeks. Be sure to follow @SCVegFest on Instagram or check out their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SCVegFest/ for information regarding the festival, and to receive meaningful inspiration from the vegan couple who are set out to challenge the ‘norm.’
As for anyone out there who is looking to evoke change in the community, Jess and Nicole have two words of advice: “Be first.” They are taking the initiative of bringing veganism to SCV, with a goal of celebrating the lives of all creatures through acts of compassion.

Info About Veg Fest 2019

SCV Veg Fest will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019, and will be located at Central Park (27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91350), from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be food and drink vendors, games, yoga, art, a kid’s play area, and more, all vegan! Tickets are currently available for purchase on SCVVegFest.com, and children under 12 receive free admission. All entry tickets include: unlimited pours of beer, wine and kombucha from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Recently, The Gentle Barn animal sanctuary, has come onboard as the Presenting Sponsor. “We’re stoked! Having local city heroes partnering with us like this is straight-up divine! The Gentle Barn epitomizes compassion and community—two foundational intentions that the SCV Veg Fest was built on. The Gentle Barn is in direct alignment with our mission to save the animals, our planet, and health. It’s an honor to call them our Presenting Sponsor,” said Jess Guidroz.
Twenty percent of all proceeds raised will be donated to four non-profits: Bridge to Home, Family Promise, Charity Water, and Kakao. Be sure to bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated all day, blankets or yoga mats to relax on, and an empty stomach to fill! To learn more or to get involved, visit their website www.scvvegfest.com or email info@scvvegfest.com.

photos by Joie de Vivre photographie