Winning is only half the fun.

You know the scene. Weeks before awards are announced, all nominees talk about what an honor it is to simply be nominated. They congratulate each other on their great work.

Then comes the day of the awards presentation.

It’s moments before the big reveal. The screen is split six ways showing the faces of everyone nominated. And then a winner is announced. One person does the obligatory, “I never thought it would be me” pantomime while the other five do the chin up smile and clap as the victor walks by them on their way to the stage, glory and spotlight.

But was it really great just to be nominated?

If you are in the plant-based business the answer is…yes.

When VegOutLA announced its nominees for the 2018 Best of Los Angeles Awards, Cena Vegan was nominated in four categories – virtually everything we make and do was recognized in a vegan category that has exploded. It was a clean sweep of acknowledgement for a year of hard work. The previous year we had been nominated and won three awards. Being recognized four times among an even larger field of great foods and businesses for the second time in a row was a wonderful achievement.

Then came the day of the awards presentation.

We were awarded Best Nachos. One of the four categories nominated. Three times it was our turn to hold our chin up, smile and be happy for the other winners. And let’s be clear, we are truly happy for the winners.

Yes. We are competitors for your favor. We love being thought of as the best at everything we do. Excellence drives our business. Customer smiles and compliments fuels our team. But it is just as important to look beyond the instant gratification and see how the collective businesses delivering great plant-based foods are raising awareness and converting more people over to the green team.

“A rising tide lifts all boats” may be just as cliché as saying its good just to be nominated. But for all of us in the world of plant-based foods, it is 100% accurate. About 6% of the population identifies itself as vegan. That leaves a whopping 94% of the world out there to be shown how deliciously healthy and beneficial it is to adopt a plant-based lifestyle.

One business and one product is not going to serve all those hungry folks. It’s going to take a lot of effort and a lot of winning on everyone’s part to keep building the momentum. There’s a lot of room for successful businesses to grow and succeed. Another businesses victory doesn’t diminish what we do.

It helps promote it. And as Cena Vegan expands into markets and bigger distribution with packaged products this year, we’ll take all the help we can get.

And hey, being able to say we've got the best nachos two years running is pretty amazing.

So congrats to all the winners. It truly was an honor just to be nominated.


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