Casa Coquí

VEGAN PUERTO RICAN

Welcome to Casa Coquí, a vegan Puerto Rican restaurant concept in Southern California. Check out our proposed menu, learn about our journey to opening our first location, and find out about our upcoming events. 

VEGANA SPOTLIGHT: Delia Bonfilio

Delia Bonfilio

Occupation: Visual Communications Expert at Bonfilio Design
Vegan Since: 2014
Heritage: 50% Puerto Rican, 50% Italian

MY VEGAN STORY

Wearing a shirt she designed for World Animal Day, this is Delia Bonfilio holding her cat, Xena, and dog, Dalai Mama. 

Wearing a shirt she designed for World Animal Day, this is Delia Bonfilio holding her cat, Xena, and dog, Dalai Mama. 

I decided to go vegan for the animals. The health and environmental benefits are an added bonus. It was a very gradual process for me and I only wish I had committed to it sooner. Growing up with cats in my life, I always considered myself an “animal lover” but it wasn’t until 2001 that I become aware of animal testing and began to only buy cruelty-free products. I became a more active advocate a few years later – protested, volunteered, went on a few rescue missions, and donated my design services – to benefit animal welfare causes. As I learned about the various ways we harm animals for our own benefit, I made different choices both personally and professionally. Over the years, I moved towards a more compassionate lifestyle – was pescatarian for 7 years and then a vegetarian for 2 years. I finally fully embraced veganism at the start of 2014, by fully committing to a plant-based diet after seeing “The Ghosts In Our Machine” – a sad, yet beautiful, documentary that brings wider attention to animal cruelty through the use of film and photography. This ethically minded ethos has naturally carried over to my design business. My company's tagline "DESIGN WITH PURPOSE" not only speaks to my creative approach, it speaks to the kind of projects and clients I now work with, including Casa Coquí.

I was very lucky to grow up with both parents and in a family full of strong-minded, strong-willed, outspoken women – both on the Puerto Rican side and the Italian side. If you’re Latino, you undoubtedly have at least one or two in your family, too! I think this set the tone for taking a stand for animals without fear for both me and my younger sister – who has really been the one to lead the veggie charge in my family. The only challenge was more about our family members stressing out about not knowing what to cook. My mother is a carnivorous “health conscious” Puerto Rican woman who, over time, adapted to our evolving dietary requests. Thankfully, she’s cut down her meat consumption considerably over the years, especially since my sister and I try to expose her to new vegan products or dishes that we make for dinner. My Italian grandmother – who lived to be 104 – would say, “Ok, whaddya not eating now?” But she was a woman of strong convictions and never gave me grief for having mine. In honor of my grandmother - and all strong, inspiring women like her - I aspire to live and work in harmony with my values. 

LIFESTYLE TIPS

  1. Learn from others. I’ve discovered new products, restaurants, and dishes to make just by following vegan influencers on social media. Pick your poison (Instagram, FB, YouTube, etc.) and search them out! 
  2. Support vegan entrepreneurs and businesses. They’re pioneering innovative ways to make compassionate choices more accessible for us.