Vaca's Core Commitments

Though food is arguably one of the most important aspects of our lives, food service is predominantly an industry built on exploitative business practices and  routinely undervalued.

At this moment, worker’s rights are under threat, climate change is progressing and is directly linked to meat and dairy production, and according to the U.S. Animal Kill Clock, over 150 million animals are killed every day in the United States of America. Even though we are just a vegan small business in Chicago, we feel we need to set the bar very high for ourselves as our own guiding principles. It will be difficult and we will probably struggle, but we need to strive to be the best we can be.

Vaca's Core Commitments are guideposts for the company to operate ethically and intentionally in a largely unethical world.

Commitment to animal rights

Vaca’s Creamery is a 100% vegan business, which means we will never use products derived from animals. This also means we avoid sourcing from companies that harm animals or the planet whenever possible. For example, we are often asked if we carry a certain chocolate sandwich cookie that happens to be plant based. We do not carry this cookie as the international company that produces it has many ethical issues we do not want to support by serving it on our menu.

We also prioritize giving back to the animals through fundraising and collaborations. In the past, we have raised thousands of dollars for organizations such as Chicagoland Pig Rescue, House Rabbit Society of Chicago, Stardust Animal Sanctuary, and Austin Animal Sanctuary.

Commitment to worker’s rights and the happiness of the Vaca’s staff

Vaca’s Creamery’s success is in large part due to our extraordinary staff! 

We operate as a tipless business because tipping is an inherently flawed system that has roots in slavery and sexism. It is important to us that our staff to have a predictable income that is not dependent on the weather or the mood of customers.

To ensure wages increase with the success of the business, a minimum of 50% of each year’s budget is dedicated to payroll and staff benefits. As our sales increase each year, we raise base wages and benefits. In 2023 we started a company healthcare plan with company contributions and we plan to add more benefits as the business grows.

Commitment to the environment

Not only does our ice cream taste amazing, but it is significantly better for the environment than dairy based products. 

By using primarily oat milk instead of dairy, in 2023 we saved approximately:

  1. Water: 23 olympic sized swimming pools of water
  2. C02: 606 seedlings growing for 10 years
  3. Land: 23 acres of land use

We source our ingredients from local/ethical companies whenever possible. We take extra steps to ensure we do not contribute to companies that use slave-analogous labor, particularly in the chocolate and coffee industries.
We also take food waste very seriously. Nearly all of our packaging is compostable or recyclable, and we have systems in place to minimize food waste.

Commitment to community betterment

We are committed to supporting local communities, businesses, and schools. We donate to fundraisers for many schools around Chicago throughout the year. 

Through collaborations with different businesses around Chicago, we aim to raise awareness for vegan offerings and help other businesses grow. 

If you are interested in collaborating with Vaca’s Creamery or are hosting a fundraiser, reach out to!

Commitment to quality

All of our products are made from scratch with original recipes. We are always working to improve our products and services so customers can trust everything on our menu. We only use high quality ingredients and perform our jobs and responsibilities with professionalism. In general, we do not sell products we don’t believe in.

Commitment to safety

We take the safety of our staff and customers seriously and aim to be transparent about our products and practices. We have rigorous standard safety procedures to reduce risks. We also provide signage and resources for all allergens and have extensive allergen training for our staff.