An Update on the Bethlehem Vegfest Explosion (and Why You Need to Eat at Jenny’s Kuali)

Vegfests are meant to be joyful celebrations of compassion for animals and people, healthy minds and bodies, good food and good vibes.

While the 2013 Bethlehem Vegfest was a positive experience for so many (more on that later), a dark cloud hung over the day when, about thirty minutes into the festival, a small explosion at Jenny’s Kuali food vendor booth sent three women to the hospital for first and second degree burns (Jenny herself was burned the most).

Thanks to @obsidianspider, Todd, for sharing your photo

Thanks to @obsidianspider, Todd, for sharing your photo

It was a unfortunate freak accident, quickly covered by local and Philadelphia media. No Vegfest patrons or other vendors were hurt, and the festival continued to run as planned.

Because we have such a wonderful and caring community, people have been asking about Jenny’s health, the state of the business (as they never got to sell any food at Vegfest and the restaurant closed for several days), and what they can do to help.

I just spoke to Jenny’s husband, and had a remarkable conversation that left me feeling even more grateful and even more proud that these wonderful people are in our community.

  • Jenny is still recovering in the hospital, and her husband happily anticipates she’ll be home early next week. They don’t want her to go back to work just yet, though she’ll be back when they feel she is well enough.
  • All expenses should be covered by their insurance company, so they not in dire financial trouble.
  • The restaurant has been opened regular hours since Wednesday, Sept. 11th!

 You Can Best Help by going to the restaurant, bringing your friends and family, and feasting on delicious Malaysian food until you have to be rolled out the door. 

 

I felt so helpless (as many of us did) and asked if donations would help cover any of their costs. Jenny’s husband, a man just as kindhearted and lovely as she is, said they do not need donations. They want business to run as usual and to serve people their food, cooked with love.

He added if people feel compelled to donate, send the money to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, or a care center for burn victims (like this one locally) “for someone who needs it”.

I expressed my relief that they are financially stable, considering they should have done so well at Vegfest, and then they had to close their business for a few days. That’s when he said something so genuine:

“So I don’t have an extra ten dollars to spend, so what?

It’s just money. Life is more important.”

Where to Go:
 Jenny’s Kuali, Malaysian Cuisine
102 E. 4th Street, Bethlehem (Southside) PA, 18015
Open 11am-8pm Mon-Wed; 11am-9pm Thurs-Sat (Closed Sunday)
610-757-8088
www.JennysKuali.com
Jenny’s Kuali Facebook Page (for updates & specials)
Dine in or Take out
Very vegan + gluten-free friendly!
BYOB — and located right next door to a Wine & Spirits shop
Appetizers start at $2, and most entrees are just under $10
 
Delicous food at Jenny's Kuali
 

I wrote about them for Lehigh Valley Style as one of my Favorite Things in the Lehigh Valley (scroll to the bottom).

Jaime K’s tips: Jenny’s is easily one of the most vegan-friendly places in the area, and they are proud to serve so many options to the vegan community. Most of their desserts are made with coconut milk, and you can’t go wrong with the bok choy in any entree. It’s also extremely budget friendly – the last time I ate there with Ryan, we got two appetizers, two entrees, and a dessert and it was under $30 (after tax!). If you go on a weekend night, you may want to call ahead for reservations (not always necessary, but a good idea).

Food is love. Show your love for these wonderful people and this shining gem in our restaurant scene and community by supporting Jenny’s Kuali.

Wishing Jenny a peaceful, restful recovery. xoxo

15 thoughts on “An Update on the Bethlehem Vegfest Explosion (and Why You Need to Eat at Jenny’s Kuali)

  1. they sound like a wonderful family. i’ll need to find people to fit into my car and road trip for dinner making sure said people can fit back into the car for the ride home. best wishes

  2. Awesome! We are a Family of 7 and will dine there this weekend to support! We are all Veg (5 young boys and Dad, I’m Vegan) We are always looking for Veg Friendly places in the Valley!

  3. Jaime!!! Thank you so much for the update!!! We will always support Jenny!!! Just made plans for lunch on Tuesday!!! Have a great weekend!!!

    Cindy Sent from my iPad

  4. I was so sad to hear this. I a hope Jenny has a speedy recovery! I remember first meeting her when they had a previous restaurant in Allentown. Jenny and everyone were so sweet to me & my friends. I plan to stop by their business again real soon. My friends still have to try their great food!

  5. I have been dying to try Jennys but have either shown up when they weren’t open or plans got diverted in other ways! Going to check it tomorrow for sure. Thanks for sharing this sweetie!🙂

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