Teghan Gordey is an animal rights and environmental activist and the owner of Naked Cafe, a vegan restaurant in downtown Kelowna. (Maria Cihlar - photo)

Teghan Gordey: Activism and business a recipe for success

Teghan Gordey is one of the founders of the iconic Naked Cafe

Pyeongchang in South Korea in 2018

Editor’s note: In 2020 it should be no surprise that more and more woman hold positions of power. Whether it’s business, politics, sports or the non-profit sector, woman continue to achieve new milestones. This story is part of a series of stories highlighting 16 women in Kelowna who are leaders in their fields. You can read all of their stories in our annual publication called Women in Business in the Feb. 28 issue of Kelowna Capital News.

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Ten years ago Kelowna resident Teghan Gordey switched to a vegan diet with her two sisters.

A decade later, Gordey never thought her lifestyle choice would turn her into a leading animal rights and environmental activist in the community and inspire her to open up Kelowna’s first vegan restaurant.

“We opened up the restaurants because there were no vegan restaurants in Kelowna,” said Gordey, who runs the restaurant with her two sisters.

“While it was definitely hard at first, my sisters and I eventually settled into our individual roles and that made things easier.”

Located downtown on Lawrence Avenue, Naked Cafe, offers an impressive variety of dishes from steamed broccoli and cheese sauce to gluten-free avocado toast.

While the restaurant consumes the majority of her time, all three sisters remain equally committed to advocating for animal rights and protecting the environment.

“Earlier on, me and my two sisters never thought we’d be in the position to do activism,” said Gordey.

“While it wasn’t was common years ago, now all three of us are involved in planning protests.”

In November, Gordey and her two sisters gained widespread media attention after they held a protest in front of Interior Savings, downtown Kelowna.

“The biggest protest that we participated in was Earthlings Against Ribfest,” said Gordey.

“During the event, my two sisters were chained to Interior Savings Credit Union. I helped by making sure there was clear communication between the other activists, the bank and the police.”

She said they decided to organize the event to protest the credit union’s sponsorship of Ribfest, which is an annual charity event in Kelowna every summer.

Gordey said she’s also been involved in other protests as well.

“We’ve been pretty vocal about climate change and getting Cananada to declare a climate emergency,” said Gordey.

“With our protests, we want to make a difference for animals.”

While their protests have certainly stirred up debate and conversations, it’s clear from owning Kelowna’s only vegan restaurant there is an apetite for what they’re doing.

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