Never heard of the TTLA sandwich? You will now, thanks to a viral video, some social media marketing and a growing demand for vegan food.
The TTLA is Whole Foods Market’s take on the classic BLT. But this updated sammie is made with tempeh bacon – a soy bean product – tomato, lettuce and avocado, all stacked between two slices of ciabatta bread and slathered with garlic aioli.
Created by employee Dennis Horton for a Whole Foods store in Santa Monica, the sandwich has exploded in popularity after Los Angeles actress and vegan food blogger Tabitha Brown reviewed it on YouTube.
“Lord have mercy, mmm,” Brown sings in the video as she takes a bite. “You know I can’t sing but this done made me sing Whole Foods ... my soul cries out.”
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Brown’s video, posted Jan. 12, has already reached 1.3 million views. People also have been using the hashtag #ttla to post pictures and videos of their own.
It’s also preparing to roll out the sandwich to its stores nationwide.
Fresno’s Whole Foods Market will have the sandwich available Monday. It also will feature the sandwich during an in-store pop-up event 11 a.m to 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Kathryn Boren, Whole Foods spokeswoman, said the sandwich has been “flying off the shelves” at other Whole Foods stores.
She credits the rising interest in vegan food, the desire to eat healthy and of course, Brown’s viral video.
“Whenever a celebrity hops on the vegan train it increases people’s interest,” Boren said. “And that video is hilarious.”
And if you do have a TTLA, don’t forget the pickles, as Brown advises in her video.