In recent years, many Americans have progressed in a health conscious direction. Though some people are merely dabbling in new diets which stray from the traditional meat-based one, there is no doubt that vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise. With a rise in popularity comes entrepreneurial innovation — like America’s first vegan butcher shop, The Herbivorous Butcher, which calls Minneapolis home.
Started by the Walch siblings, sister and brother duo Aubry and Kale (yes, like the vegetable…some things were just meant to be), this innovative take on an old neighborhood staple began at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. After consistently selling out of their products in that venue — which happens to be the largest in the Upper Midwest — the siblings decided to create a Kickstarter campaign to see if they could ride the excitement onward to bigger and better things. The pair appealed to enough people to overshoot their goal of $50,000, so soon their shop at 507 1st Ave NE was born.
The Herbivorous Butcher’s menu is fully plant-based and features meat, cheese, and other familiar products’ substitutions which appear and taste as close to their animals’ counterparts as possible. Detecting the difference is part of the allure for the many who have not yet gone down the rabbit hole of vegetarianism or veganism. Regardless of your dietary preference, you may find the taste surprisingly close to the real thing — and it may even prove a delicious new part of your diet!
If you’re content with your carnivorous diet, and The Herbivorous Butcher’s fare tastes similar anyway, then why bother? Well, there is always the ethical argument. The owners of The Herbivorous Butcher believe that aspect is an important part of what they do, as people are slowly starting to consider the ethics of what they eat in addition to its taste. But most importantly, it’s clear the two believe strongly in the overall quality of their products, continuously attempting to entice even the strictest carnivores.
Though venued here in Minneapolis, The Herbivorous Butcher packs and ships many of its products across the world. Items such as their “Summer Grill Pack” featuring brats, ribs, and steak, their “Deli, Dive-In and Dine!” consisting of all the vegan deli meats and cheeses needed to make the perfect sandwich, and their “Vegan Starter Kit” are all detailed, priced, and available for purchase on their website, theherbivorousbutcher.com. In addition to that, their blog features tasty recipe ideas which, undertaken carefully, will likely fool even the staunchest of meat lovers.
Perhaps most impressively, their delectable Sriracha brats and Italian sausages can now be found in Section 129 of Target Field! That means if you’re still rebelling against the idea of meatless meat, beware: There is truly nowhere to hide now, so you may as well head down to The Herbivorous Butcher and pick their vegan version of your favorite meat product. If you don’t love it, at least some farm animal, somewhere, will thank you.
By Anthony Chiofalo