Tamearra Dyson, owner of Souley Vegan, has been cooking her signature vegan dishes since the age, of 18. Chef Dyson, a vegan from an early age, believes in cruelty free eating.

"When Life Hands You Lemons, Add Basil!"

Growing up my Mother fed us three kids (my brother Myron, Sister Rosalie and myself) a primarily vegetarian diet. She didn’t call it that at the time, she just tried to do her best with what she had.

When I was pregnant with my son Aquil, I began cooking. Being a vegan already, all of the dishes I prepared were vegan.

In June 2007, I decided to leave a promising career in the medical field for something I was more passionate about. (That something became what you now know as Souley Vegan!)

A single mother with zero savings! Of course everyone said I was crazy to pursue this. But not one to be discouraged, I began catering and selling food at local markets and events.

Fast forward two years, in 2009, I came across a vacant restaurant location at 301 Broadway in Downtown Oakland. After passing by this location a first, second, and third time, I decided to call and schedule a walk through. I barely had the gas to drive down there, but I went and attempted to portray full confidence in my ability to pay the high price the landlord was requiring upon securing the property.


In my heart and soul I felt that this place belonged to Souley Vegan. I said to her with the confidence I pretended to have that while my credit wasn’t the best, I would have no problem paying the money she requested. She called me a week later and said,  “Tamearra, you said your credit wasn’t the best but you did not say how bad! We will not be able to lease to you.” I said if that’s what you choose then I understand, however,if you give me a chance you will not regret it. She responded “So, let me get this straight, I’m supposed to just take you on your word, huh?” To which I just replied, yes. She said I’ll call you back..I received a call from her a few days later , as she informed me of the stipulations that I would need to meet in order for me to get the location I was thinking yes!! then thinking, now how am I going to do.

Remembering that it would take my mother because of her pride, an hour to get up the strength to call one of my aunties or Grandfather to ask for food to feed us children when we didn’t have any. I too had that pride and did not want to ask anyone for anything..but I did, I humbled myself and went on a quest for money while continuing to take any and all catering jobs, farmers market etc. to make the money. Yes I got insulted a few times and It was embarrassing and very humbling.

One day I received a call from a customer that heard I was looking for funds to secure this location. To make this long story short, between the money she loaned and the money  I made from catering jobs and markets…I literally got the total sum in my hand 20 minutes before I was due to meet my landlord to sign the contract to seal the deal. 

After signing I thought, YES!! then I thought, now how am I going to pay rent, get equipment in the restaurant etc. this was in March of 2009. When I opened Souley Vegan in July of 2009 I had to my name one pair of pants and  the 27 dollars my sister put in the cash register right before I opened the doors.

To find out how I paid rent with no money for the 4 months I had the property before we actually opened…you’ll have to find me at the restaurant. Come say hello and let me tell you. 🙂

“Rating is a flavorful five!”

I thought turning vegan meant I had to sacrifice some of my favorite foods. I grew up with soul food, and when I realized there was a vegan spot in Oakland, I knew my concerns were over.
Nicholas G.

Come Visit Us

  • 301 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607
  • info@souleyvegan.com
  • (510) 922-1615
  • Hours:
    Tues - Thurs 11AM - 10:30PM
    Friday - Saturday 11AM - 11:30PM
    Sunday 10AM - 3PM (brunch)
  • I’m so honored to have the opportunity to mentor This sweet, intelligent young lady.

This is a great partnership with @sprouts Market and @ousdnews (Oakland Unified School District) to help give new opportunities and healthy experiences to Bay Area youth and I couldn’t be more proud to be apart of it💙

I told Delylah that she should be very proud of herself that she had the courage to dismiss any fear of being in a place with people she didn’t know and opening herself up to new educational experiences As it’s the fear of the unknown that hold so many of us back .. Life is about ones development and it just warms me to know I’m apart of hers in some way.... As we approach the end of the mentorship we will be preparing her fav dish chicken Alfredo..I told her I’m going to show her how to elevate her flavors and our vegan version will be something that will amaze her family 😁😁 I want to say thank you Delylah for allowing us to be apart of your summer and I hope you learned some valuable life lessens along the way !!!! Cheers to you ! 
P.S this card touched my heart 💙 
#vegan #sproutsmarket #healthyliving #souleyvegan #bayareavegans #oaklandunifiedschooldistrict #youth #mentorship #oaklandraised #oakland #fromoakland
  • Made from scratch and proudly stacked 😍 Pray 4 Me Burger ..... How did it get the name ? 
Well I told my son Aquil  that I was going into the kitchen to create a new burger. 
I said “I don’t know how long Its going to take me, pray for me “ 
He replied .. That’s the name of the burger, “Pray 4 Me” I said cool ..and the Pray 4 Me was born ..🤙🏽 #stacked 
  • This private event was such a pleasure to cater this past Saturday. 
Of course the prize is that all the guests (non vegans) went crazy over our unique flavors. 
@shanique_drummond from @marriedtomedicinelosangeleswas such a beautiful and gracious hostess. 💙

Thank you to Marcello of @htevents for providing me with skilled service staff that helped to make this event seamless. 
Till next time ! 
@shanique_drummond @marriedtomedicinebravo @bravotv @gettyimages 
  • We will be closing at 9pm today ! But In the meantime...come and mess with this #homemade #louisianahotlinks #craft #forgetwhatyouheard #whatveganseat #cometomomma LIVE BAND + Bottomless 🥂 on deck ! 
  • “Just as time knew to move on since the beginning
And the seasons know exactly when to change”🎶🎶🎶🎶 When I tell you that this Gentleman gave the world some of the most beautiful music one could ever hear 💙💙💙Words cannot express the joy and appreciation I felt when meeting and talking with this Most Precious and beautiful song bird ..... With much respect and admiration, I give you ... Mr. Stevie Wonder

I thank my mother for teaching me the love of cooking and my father for teaching me the love for music two of the most powerful arts / talents one can give.....what a blessing to be able to uplift the spirit of so many💙

Was a true honor to feed you and your lovely team ...Till next time my friend.... #steviewonder 
#bayareavegans #vegansofig #vegansofsf #oakland #veganbiz #icon
  • I was told when I first broke into the food industry to change my menu often, “people won’t eat the same thing over and over again” ... Even though we’ve added to our menu significantly .. This dish was one of our first dishes sold at the farmers market in 2006...I have folks that still come and get this combo twice a week consistently since we opened our doors in 2009 😁😁 ...lol #classic #bbqtofu #greens #potatosalad #js 
#bayareavegans #whatveganseat #vegansofig #vegansofsf #veganbiz #cometomomma #smoke #yournotready #kissthecook💋 #fromoakland #souleyvegan
  • Look at my Girl ! So grateful to sponsor this amazing super star Laila for the summer Bike Camp @bayareabmxers such an amazing feeling to give to the very place from which you came..#oaklandcalifornia ...can’t wait to see what you do @bayareabmxers !

#supportourcommunity #bayareayouth #oakland 
  • Demo went perfect this pass Sunday ! Thank you for having us @macys @kpthrive ! Till next time ! @souleyvegan 
#veganfoodshared #veganrecipe #cheflife #vegancheflife #vegansofig #veganseat #souleyvegan
  • Getting these beauties ready for today’s demo @macys @kpthrive ! Come and check me out ! Swipe 👉🏾 for details 🤙🏽 #bayareavegans #fooddemo #veganaf #veganchef #vegansofig #oakland #sanfrancisco #veganrecipes #cometomomma ##tamearradyson #souleyvegan
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