Vegan Meat Stand Sees Successful First Summer At Mpls. Farmers Market

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A first-of-its-kind meatless butcher has set up shop at the Minneapolis Farmers Market.

And it’s a hit with customers.

Once they figure out what it is.

Nina Moini spent the day with the brother and sister pair behind The Herbivorous Butcher.

In a sea of produce, it can be hard stand out.

“The sausages are like sausages. The ribs are in strips like ribs would be,” creator Aubrey Walch said.

But with a name like Herbivorous Butcher people can’t help but stop and take a closer look.

Siblings Aubrey and Kale Walch started experimenting years ago with natural meat replacements for their own vegan diets.

“In most of our products we use a high-protein wheat flour. So, therefore everything we make is inherently really high in protein with virtually no fat, no cholesterol,” Kale said.

They put up $5,000 dollars, hoping this first year at the Minneapolis Farmers Market will give them new ideas and customers to expand into a store one day.

“The first day we were in the car and I said to my brother and dad, ‘You know, its OK if we don’t sell anything today. We got this far and it’s good.’ And then we sold out,” Aubrey said.

And they’ve sold out every Saturday this summer, and are making a profit.

Sandy Hill with the Minneapolis Farmers Market says about 25 hopeful startups come through the farmers market every year, and most do very well, but this is a first for vegan meat alternatives at the market.

“It’s the uniqueness of their product and that the public wants it,” Hill said.

Finally getting the exposure they were craving, this duo says even if they open up shop somewhere else, they’re hoping to call Minneapolis Farmers Market home for years to come.

“They come back every single week. People who would never even try a vegan meat start buying it on a regular basis and their health is improving,”  Aubrey said.

Aubrey and Kale put the ingredients they use right on the label.

They say they are working with investors now and hope to have a shop up and running by the beginning of next year.

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