Venganza Foods

Plant-based, authentic Mexican food

Last Funded August 2022


raised from 286 investors


💰 ~$500K lifetime revenue ($33K from current corp)
💸 25% MoM growth, ~1K patrons at carniceria monthly
🏅 Named Los Angeles' Best Taco in 2018, vendor at Coachella in 2017
📣 Chef featured in LA Times, NPR, SF Chronicle, VICE

Our Team

Cruelty-free is in our name. Venganza means vengeance in Spanish. Vengeance against the meat industry, against climate change, and against human cruelty.

The Impossible meats of the Mexican world 🥩

Our Story

Chef Raul Medina killed chickens in Mexico until, one day, he turned around – he couldn’t do that anymore. His grandmother told him he would starve, all he could eat is chilis, cheese, and tortillas (at the time he wasn’t vegan). Coming out to the US he realized the cheese was horribly processed. Where did it come from? The cheese doesn’t come from one cow (as it did in Mexico). And so he saw that if he can give up meat, he can give us cheese. 

Fast forward 20 years, Raul, as a vegan in the Bay Area, saw a distinct absence in the food scene – a real “taco." All he saw was salads on a tortilla. Where was the carne asada? The pollo? The pastor? His observations reflected a larger trend in the vegan food space:

Out of necessity, Raul started his first pop-up on the corner of 15th and Harrison on the sidewalks of download Oakland. Since he lived in Chinatown, he found a lot of Chinese, African, and Vietnamese spices. Oakland is a melting pot of cultures, and spices. By experimenting with these spices, he was able to find something that was carintas-like. He worked to create carnitas that felt fully authentic – from taste to texture. 

Working as an immigration defense clerk was taking its toll on him, and once his attorney told him he’d make more money selling tacos than doing consultations, something flipped inside in him. He bought a Blackstone griddle and dove head first into the venture. The first pop-up was entirely marketed over Instagram he had a line of 60 people. He ran out of food. It’s been growing quickly ever since. He served food at Coachella in 2017 & won Los Angeles' Best Taco award in 2018 – beating out tacos packed with real meat. He recently opened a 100% plant-based carnicería, or Mexican meat market, in downtown Oakland, CA – but it known for his creations in Santa Ana, Oakland, and Los Angeles.

Chef Raul in a plant-based cannabis cook-off on VICE.

Why plant-based?

Raul's decision to go vegan was influenced by his experience as a legal clerk helping undocumented immigrants who faced deportation after coming to the US to work at factory farms and slaughterhouses. He began La Venganza to re-define what “cruelty-free” means. As a culture, we define veganism as the attack on animals, but we forget the human suffering that goes to pick our vegetables, and process the worlds meat. Venganza is born and bred to disrupt the current narrative around factory-farmed meats, immigrant labor, and losing the connection to what your grandma cooked.

This disruption means that Raul has a vision beyond running his carniceria. He envisions getting vegan meat into more taquerias and on the shelves of Mexican supermarkets like Cardenas to help advance his notion of truly “cruelty-free” veganism. His vision is already coming to life: Oakland’s Taqueria El Cruzero uses his products in tacos and burritos, and hit taco truck Al Pastor Papi has served his vegan carne asada in the past.

So, what's in it?

All of our meats are made from tofu skin or vegetables. We aim not just to veganize Mexican food but to recreate it as faithfully as possible – mimicking the taste and textures of classic taqueria cuts like lengua and cabeza. He makes chorizo from beets and creates richness in vegan birria from enoki mushrooms. Our cheeses are soy-based. Check out this clip of Chef Raul preparing some crowd favorites.

Our traction & game plan.

We've gained a ton of traction (and much beloved fans) since Raul opened his pop-up. We currently get ~1K patrons at our carniceria in Oakland,  have ~25% month-over-month growth, and have ~$500K in lifetime revenue. But this is only the tip of the iceberg; here's the nitty gritty of our plan to bring Venganza to the next level.

Forward-looking projections cannot be guaranteed.

Here's Raul with the papers to the spot for the carniceria in downtown Oakland. 

*Passages in this pitch are derived from Venganza's features in SF-based press outlets.