Loreta Ruiz of La Vegana Mexicana


Traditional Mexican food is usually filled with the rich flavors of seasoned meat, lard-filled beans, and the creamy textures of cheese and sour cream; but, Loreta of La Vegana Mexicana is changing all this. Her mission: redefine what Mexican cuisine can be. La Vegana Mexicana is a homage to Loretas’s Mexican culture, with its menu using the same spices and ingredients you’d find in traditional Mexican cuisine. The catch: it’s completely vegan!

Loreta first started experimenting with vegan Mexican cuisine with her daughter in mind. Her daughter became vegan when she was 18, and was always questioning why humans had to eat animal products. From there, Loreta was determined to curate recipes that her daughter would like, but would also keep her tastebuds satisfied and her belly full. With a lot of trial and error, Loreta discovered that many traditional Mexican dishes are plant-based and don’t require animal product. From there, an idea was born, and Loreta decided to kickstart her completely vegan menu, while staying true to traditional and culturally-appropriate Mexican cuisine. Enter: La Vegana Mexicana.

As we all know, there needs to be a lot of grit and passion to keep a business afloat, and fortunately for Loreta and her two kids (also her business partners), there is a great deal of shared passion. This family is very excited to be creating vegan Mexican food for the Orange County community. What’s been extremely rewarding for La Vegana Mexicana is all the accolades they’ve received the last year for their concept. Publications like NPR, The LA Times, OC Weekly and Univision all have stated that it’s completely ‘out there’ to have vegan Mexican food, but, that there is also a real need for it. Vegans also want to eat delicious Mexican food after all, and many of said that La Vegana’s dishes taste ‘just like the real thing!’ without any of the animal products. And that’s La Vegana Mexicana’s main goal; to stay true to Mexican cuisine while being creative in sharing healthy, plant-based recipes.

Loreta and her kids are thrilled to have a brick and mortar within Santa Ana’s food hall, 4th Street Market. Throughout 2018 they were frequent tenants of 4th Street Markets’ East End Kitchens facilities, and sold their tamales at Alta Baja Market. Now, they get to sell everything they’ve put their hearts and souls into at the market themselves. Look for healthy, plant-based, Mexican options at 4th Street Market, courtesy of La Vegana Mexicana.