Later this month, the country’s first-ever vegan butcher shop will open up in Minneapolis. Before you write it off as a joke, know that this is not going to be a deli case full of carrots and cabbage heads. Owned by siblings Aubry Walch and Kale Walch (an appropriate name for a vegan butcher if we ever heard one), The Herbivorous Butcher will offer vegan alternatives for classic butcher shop items like maple glazed “bacon,” BBQ “ribs,” Italian “sausages” and even a vegan take on bologna (above) for vegetarians who long to feel that delicious squeak between their teeth. Made primarily from wheat with different herbs and spices, the meatless meats are designed to not only mimic the taste but also the texture of their animal-based counterparts. Also on the menu: vegan cheeses like “Pepper Jack” and “Camembert” made from coconut oil and soy milk.
The brother-sister team first launched the concept at farmers’ markets, then moved their business online before investing in a storefront with the help of over $60,000 from a Kickstarter campaign. Though the idea originally came up as a joke over dinner, the duo quickly realized that there was definitely a demand for meatless, meat-like options—and not just from vegans and vegetarians, but also from people hoping to lessen their carbon footprint. “A modest reduction in the consumption of animal products would not only spare billions of animals from inhumane treatment every year, but would have a huge environmental impact,” the Walchs write on their website.
You don’t have to go to Minnesota to sample The Herbivorous Butcher’s goods. The store is shipping their goods nationally for a limited time and accepting pre-orders now.