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Answers have been edited for length and clarity.


Why don’t you tell us who you are?

Hi! My name is Larisa. I am the owner of Glitter Thicket. This is a small, vegan cafe in Nyack and I feature a ton of local artists and creators also.

I think we talked about this, but you are from here. I guess the question is what keeps you here? What do you love about the Nyack community?

I love Nyack. I feel really lucky that I grew up here. So many artistic people. I think it has just a beautiful vibe and also kind of like, a magical vibe. The stores that have come and gone and also that have been here over the years have all been really interesting. So much creativity. And then I just love the location. The river, the mountains, and it’s close to the city. Nyack has just a great energy. I really love it here.

How did you start out in baking? In food? What was your entry point into the industry?

I’ve worked as a waitress but I never really had an interest in food. What I was interested in was animal rights, so. Most animal abuse occurs in our food system so that’s what I got really into when I was in school. Then I decided to focus my energy on farm animal rights issues because those are most of the animals we treat badly. So I never really was interested in food but ended up talking about it a lot in my life. I was on more of the educational side for a bit but then I thought it’d be really sweet to have a vegan spot and have it be more pleasure-based. You know, pretty treats and nice sandwiches rather than depressing videos all of the time to kind of persuade people to eat less animals.

I love the unconventional paths we all take to where we are. Since becoming the owner of a business based in food and community… what has that come to mean to you as an entrepreneur? Food and hospitality?

I served and worked at ODs for a while and I experienced this there as well: the intimacy of food. It feels very cozy. I’ve only been open here a few months and feel like I’ve met a lot of people that now feel like I’ve known them for a long time. People come in to chat and talk about food issues or people’s feelings. It has been really nice. So having a food establishment feels very… there’s something really primal about eating. There is a community. A nice feeling of sharing and giving food. I want to create a pleasant food experience that’s also good for animals and the planet. So, I’ve had a really good time.

vegan cake
credit: @glitterthickett

Joy is everything, right? What would you say is your favorite thing to bake? If you had to choose.

Definitely like, very specific cakes that people request.

What’s a cool cake you’ve made recently?

I did a wedding cake over the summer that was very floral that I loved. I just did a deer cake. And then a cake with a bunch of giraffes on it. Both of those were really fun. I’ve been talking to somebody about a rainbow-y fox cake. I love all the colors. And then I made a seahorse cake over the summer that had a sugar seahorse made out of smashed jolly ranchers. So anytime anybody requests something it’s kind of exciting if I haven’t done it, and then look up how to do it. I love cake orders.

Would you talk a little bit about running a small business? How has that experience been for you?