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Punk Rawk Labs, the Minneapolis-based vegan cheese favorite, is closing

After almost a decade, the vegan cheese mavens are shutting down.

After almost a decade, the vegan cheese mavens are shutting down. Punk Rawk Labs

If you woke up this morning feeling "good" and hope to keep feeling that way, absolutely do not watch the video clip we're linking to here.

In it, you'll see Punk Rawk Labs co-owners Julie Morgan Wellman and Alissa Barthel get visibly choked up as they announce their vegan cheese company will close, thanking employees and customers for all their support.

No exact reason is given for the closure, though on Facebook, they've hinted at a "long sordid story of injustice." Whatever it is, it sure sucks to lose a small, local, women-owned, environmentally conscious, animal-friendly brand. 

Punk Rawk Labs was founded in 2010 and grew like wild: You could find their dairy-free cheeses at co-ops and cafes from coast to coast. Of course, they were a favorite for plenty of people and places in Minnesota, too. "This breaks my heart," Colin Anderson of Eureka Compass Vegan Foods wrote Tuesday.

Even the dairy guzzlers at CP were hooked. "Punk Rawk Labs' vegan cheese is the real deal," we proclaimed in a 2013 profile of the cheesemaking duo, and this summer, we included their cheeses in the all-vegan guide to making the Ultimate Minnesota Picnic

If you want to stockpile Punk Rawk's stuff like an animal-loving doomsday prepper, the last of the cheese is on their webstore now, and you can find a list of all stockists here. St. Paul's Eureka Compass will also be getting a whole bunch of last-run cheese in this weekend, according to Facebook.

"We really just want to build up a community and make raw and vegan foods accessible and appealing to everyone," Barthel told us back in 2013. It's that group they want to thank as they sign off: "[W]e are so proud of the community we have built over the last 10 years. Thank you so much! This has meant so much to us."

Elsewhere in the week's "big bummer Minneapolis departures" news, Salty Tart abruptly closed its Harriet Ave. bakery on Tuesday.