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November 06, 2015

Philly@Work: HipCityVeg's Nicole Marquis

A day in the life with the brains behind vegan hot spots Charlie was a sinner & Bar Bombón

Restaurateurs Vegan
Carroll - Nicole Mrquis Bar Bombon Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Owner Nicole Marquis at Bar Bombón.

Ever wonder about the guy who sits down the hall from you in the office, or the woman who works at your favorite bar or coffee house? How about the parking lot attendant or dog walker in your neighborhood?

Welcome to Philly@Work, a monthly feature spotlighting some of the smartest, most interesting, funny and downright eclectic people who work hard for their money. We want to find out what makes Philly’s working class special – with great tips from locals about where to eat, shop, catch a band and kick back after closing time.

Nicole Marquis, 33

Owner and operator of vegan hot spots HipCityVeg, Charlie was a sinner and Bar Bombón

Neighborhood where I live and work: Rittenhouse

What I do: I come up with ideas for restaurants, then work to turn them into reality. I manage a team of skilled people to help me build and run the restaurants.

My latest project: I’m opening my first HipCityVeg outside of Philadelphia in Washington D.C.

HipCityVeg, 127 South 18th Street Philadelphia. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

What I like most about my job: I like that it allows me to be creative, to come up with a concept and watch it become real. But most of all, I like helping people realize they can have a delicious meal without eating meat. It’s my way of trying to make the world a better place.

Hardest part of the job: The hardest part is finding the right people for my team. But once I find them, new possibilities become apparent and we grow exponentially.

What you should know about eating vegan: It’s not some special diet; it’s just good food without the animal products. It’s just as satisfying and it’s much better for your health.

How long I've been vegan: About 10 years.

The Udon Noodle Salad at HipCityVeg consists of spicy glazed chick'n, sprouts, arugula, carrot, cabbage, daikon, scallions, peanuts & Chinese black bean dressing, served with sweet potato fries, Sriracha aioli and green lemonade. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

Three food ingredients I can’t live without: I can't live without pasta and I would die without broccoli ... unless I get more pasta. That’s three, right?

Meal that I could eat every day: I can eat pasta and vegetables every day. I could also eat rice, beans, avocado and vegetables every day.

Other things I like to do: I love to hang out with my boyfriend and my dog. I love to eat at good restaurants. I love to sleep.

The bar at Charlie was a sinner is stocked with dozens of fresh ingredients. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

Where else I like to eat: I like Parc, Le Pain and anywhere I can order off the menu.

Best vegan dish outside of my own restaurants: Love Zavino! Their spaghetti squash with tomato sauce is my jam.

My favorite neighborhood bar: a. kitchen + bar

Where I like to shop for clothes: Anthropologie

Bar Bombón, 133 South 18th Street. (Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice)

Where I get my culinary inspiration: Everyday food with bold flavors.

Something you may not know about me: I am a fierce salsa dancer.

Favorite bar: I don't get out much, outside of my own restaurants! If I'm at a bar, it's probably Charlie was a sinner.

Best part about working in Philly: It's my hometown. I love it.

Charlie was a sinner, located at 131 South 13th Street, is a 100% vegan cafe and bar in Midtown Village. (Thom Caroll/PhillyVoice)

Want to be considered for Philly@Work? Please send us your name, age, job title, company name and what you love about your work.