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. The money I made the first day went towards supplies for the second day and so on…to be continued …xoxo!!

“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)
  • Words can’t express how honored I was to meet Ms. Leah Chase in the 2017 while in New Orleans.

Dear Ms. Chase (Also known as The Queen of Creole Cuisine) was the Executive Chef and Owner of the the infamous Dooky Chase’s Restaurant that opened in 1941 in New Orleans Louisiana. 
I so admired Ms Chase as a business woman, entrepreneur, civil rights activist and the list goes on...Dooky Chase’s Restaurant has historically been a community space of love and political conversation and was the first restaurant that black and white people would come to sit and eat during a time when all establishments were segregated.

I was so humbled and honored to sit down and talk to this woman of such strength, a matriarch in her community. 
She told me to move there because New Orleans needed fresh minds and a fresh outlook on things.

My sincere condolences to the family.  The beautiful Ms. Leah Chase 1923-2019
  • Happy to partner with @macys and @kpthrive for this food demo ! Thanks for the invite @macys 💙 This event is open to the public ;) I just love this @iamtamearradyson ...see you June 16th SF ! 
  • When Souley Vegan was first launched in November of 2006 at a local Farmers Market my son Aquil was 12 years old. 
We would get up at 4am to prepare for the market. I on the food and him loading and organizing the van.

Our first day at the market I told him, “ok, I’m on the food and your on the money” we both learned this business together. 
Times when I was fatigued and nauseous from exhaustion, he would say “mom go sit in the car and I’ll finish this up” 
Him being my, “mom everything is going to be ok” support at the time at such a young age. 
Though when he got older he ventured out to do his own thing. 
I’m grateful he is working with me again. 
I’m proud to be featured together as Power Players of 2019 @angelenomagazine so many great things to come. 
Congrats Son on your first magazine feature! 
Digital copy here..hard copy hitting  stands in June.

#oaklandraised #veganaf #veganchef #souleyvegan #create #bayareavegans #vegansofig #work #evolve #bestofvegan #doyourbest #vegansofla #losangeles
  • Looking forward to seeing this segment air on the Good Food Channel on #uktv in October ! I had such a great time filming with @cheftomkerridge and his crew ! 
Shout out to #Unitedkingdom  for showing so much love 💙 being a self taught Chef, I must admit it was flattering to hear the 3 Star Michelin Chef @cheftomkerridge say after tasting my Okra Gumbo over Grits... “You can’t teach that” 
#souleyvegan #uk 
#vegansofuk #vegansoflondon #vegansofthebayarea #oakland
  • Seitan spicy strips...have them spicy, bbq or original with our #creamy dipping sauces🤙🏽 #baylove 
#townbiz #whatveganseat #soul #eater #bayarea 
#veganfoodlovers #veganfoodie 
#vegan #veg #plantbased #fromscratch #souleyvegan #veganaf
  • HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY FROM SOULEY VEGAN ! 💙💙 Treat Mom to this 🔥this Sunday 10a-3p -Chocolate Sourdough French Toast topped with fresh Strawberries, shaved bitter Chocolate, Ganache and Whipped cream...and you know what that is in the back💙- #chocolatefrenchtotoast
#oakland #mothersday
  • When the Big Snoop D o double g shouts you out #souleyvegan at his gaming event on his live stream, it’s🔥 @snoopdogg glad you liked the gifts bags and thank you for the love ! #snoopdogg 
#etouffee #saffronrice #vegancheesecake 

Watch it in full.. https://m.twitch.tv/videos/415025349
  • This happens every Sunday 10a-3pm #sweetpotatowaffles 
#vegan #cheesegrits #countrypotatoes #beignets ...
We are not playing any games. Come taste the 🔥

#veganbrunch #oakland 
#veg #vegan #whatveganseat #bayareavegans #magichappenshere
  • Had a great time taking my team on the @velocipedetours_beer_bike oakland pedal ride last Sunday. This is not even half of us. We had so much fun ! Thank you Josh for being a great guide and smiling through our craziness ! 
Shout out to @oaklandchopbar for the great drinks and appetizers and my arugula salad was on point !💙 We had to pedal down to  @plankoakland to see one of our team member, Yula that was working and couldn’t make it ..ended up bowling, drinking and being silly... SPECIAL shout out to Israel and my son Aquil Who got off the bike and started pushing by nights end because we were all to tipsy to pedal haha!!!! looking forward to our upcoming picnic ! 💙💙💙 #souleyvegan #oakland #team #havefun #hardwork #letsplay #tequila #mysontookthepic #weareoakland
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