Gourmet food purveyors have long used their culinary talents to bring their wares to consumers across the country, but one new company is set to change the game.
The Vegan Cheetos restaurant chain has created its own burger recipe with ingredients that are not only vegan, but also certified organic.
The company’s CEO, Michael G. Stoddard, told Business Insider that they are creating a vegan burger with no dairy, eggs, or sugar.
“We want to create a burger that is made with our own ingredients,” he said.
“It’s not a cookie-cutter veggie burger.
It’s a vegan, healthy, sustainable burger.”
The vegan burger comes with a full-spectrum, no-sugar, gluten-free, high-protein, no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, preservative-free whey, and vegan cheese, which is produced by Gourmet Foods, the company that owns the brand.
“The veggie burgers we serve at the restaurant are vegan because we want to make sure our customers can enjoy a vegan meal,” Gourmet CEO Michael Stoddardsvegan burgers at the vegan restaurant in Nashville.
“There’s nothing else like it anywhere.”
To be vegan, you need to eat a lot of plant-based foods, such as: beans, lentils, and lentils that have been rinsed and dried in a hot oven for at least 24 hours (the more hours, the better); nuts and seeds, which have been ground and roasted and are then roasted or ground with other ingredients to a coarse powder; and dairy products such as goat’s milk, almond milk, and soy.
Gourmet also makes a vegan version of their burgers, including their “muesli,” a smoothie with soy milk and coconut.
“All of our veggie products are made without animal products, which means they’re 100% natural,” Grafton explained.
“We use 100% organic ingredients.
And we use the highest-quality, organic ingredients we can find.”
Gourmet Foods is one of the most innovative companies on the vegan burger scene, but it hasn’t always been that way.
The chain began as a chain of restaurants in the mid-1980s, when a number of restaurants and bakeries opened in Nashville, Tennessee, which then became the third largest city in the United States.
“They were very big in the late 80s, early 90s,” Gartrellsvegan said.
“A lot of them were based in the downtown area.
And so a lot were chain restaurants.”
But in 2001, the chain’s business was hit hard by the recession.
The number of people leaving the region for good fell, and in the aftermath, the number of employees that the chain lost fell from 50 to 14, with many of those workers going to restaurants like The Green Spot and The Vegan Cheese.
“And then in the summer of 2002, all of a sudden, we lost $200 million, and we had to shut down our stores,” Stoddingsvegan recalled.
“The number of stores that were opened that year was a lot.”
Grafton said the company had to turn to new strategies to survive.
“There were a lot more opportunities,” he explained.
He added that they were able to find a buyer for the chain for $500 million.
“That’s when we really took off, and it really opened the door for us to really build on the business.”
Gartrell’svegan burger at the new Vegan Cheeto shop in Nashville is also made with 100% vegan ingredients.
The vegan company is a part of the growing movement of companies trying to create healthier, vegan food products, but they aren’t just looking to produce healthier alternatives to meat-based food.
They are also looking to get people out of the meat industry.
“For us to be vegan is a big step,” Gertrell said.
But he said they also want to be a part for the sake of everyone who eats meat.
“I’m a vegetarian myself,” Gostrells told Business Wire.
“I think the meat is just killing us, and the animal industries have to start paying attention to the health of the environment, and to be better stewards of this planet.”
The company has plans to continue to grow and expand in Nashville and beyond.
The vegan burger is one example of that.
“When we launched this brand, we knew that we wanted to be the leader in this space,” Gaster said.
Gourmet also said that they will be selling the vegan cheeseburger to restaurants across the state of Tennessee, including the Tennessee Capitol Building.
“Our goal is to sell to all of the restaurants in Tennessee,” Gastersvegan explained.
The company is currently working on other projects, including a restaurant in New York, and plans to open a store in Los Angeles.