Coming to Lark: Berben & Wolff's Vegan Deli

exterior 227 Lark Street

The space at 227 Lark Street.

A new vegan deli -- Berben & Wolff's -- is set to take over the Brakes Coffee House space at 227 Lark Street in Albany later this spring.

Berben & Wolff's is backed by Joey Berben and Max Wolff. About a year and a half ago they started selling seitan -- a protein product made from wheat gluten -- to local restaurants, as well doing pop-kitchens and event catering. They now make a range of vegan products: breakfast sausage, chicken wings, chorizo, burgers.

"We have both always been very involved in food." Berben told AOA via chat today -- he's worked in the deli at Honest Weight, and Wolff is a restaurant chef. "There has been quite a lack of vegan restaurants in the area, so I began hosting events and cooking for friends. I was approached by Max last year about starting a legitimate business selling some of the seitan products I made. It took off pretty quickly and has been doing very well."

Berben & Wolff's currently supplies seitan to The Ruck (for those vegan wings), Iron Gate Cafe, the deli at Honest Weight, New World Bistro Bar, Rockill Bakehouse Cafe, Healthy on Lark, Cafe Madison, and The Brakes.

Berben said the plan for the Lark Street deli is to initially offer sandwiches, bowls, and soups. And then once they're up and running, to expand into selling their housemade proteins and cheeses by the pound, along with some gluten-free and grocery items.

"Things you would expect in a New York deli, but all plant based," Berben said.

The plan is to open sometime in May -- Berben said they take over the lease in April, and they have some renovations in mind. An exact opening date isn't set, yet -- keep an eye on the Berben & Wolff's FB page.

The Brakes will be open through this weekend, with limited hours after, according to a post on its Facebook page: "You'll still find us popping up here and there, slinging vegan chili cheese nachos at the festivals, loitering at Berben and Wolff's, and promoting sustainability wherever we can. I can't thank you all enough for all of the support you've given us over the last year. It's been fantastic! And thanks to Berben and Wolff for stepping up to take the vegan baton. They're going to do amazing things."

Earlier on AOA:
+ Veg Out: Seitan wings at The Ruck
+ Thinking about the future of Lark Street

Find It

Planned: Berben & Wolff's Vegan Delicatessen
227 Lark Street
Albany, NY 12210


So, an appetizing store?

So excited to be able to purchase their proteins by the pound!
Joey Berben specially made us some bratwurst seitan for a family dinner recently and it was amazing. He even made one that was pepper encrusted. My husband also loves the wings at the Ruck. Can't wait to be able to just walk to Lark and grab some seitan for our dinners!

Mary, thanks for sharing your experiences! Recently I've been wanting more meat-free options for main dishes, and I'd really like to start experimenting with seitan. I'm looking forward to having a great source in the neighborhood.

Hahaha... silly vegans.

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