The Vegetarian Butcher
Plant Based Meat
Specializing in plant-based meat alternatives, gluten-free and GMO free products.
The Vegetarian Butcher’s Story so far…
The idea for the Vegetarian Butcher was inspired by one of the co-founders’ wives who, when diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2016, had difficulty finding a plant based grocer to support the goal of changing her diet to be vegetable-focused. She and her husband began exploring the plant-based options available in the market and the lack of options resulted in a vegan meat butcher shop concept to offer plant-based meat and cheese substitutes, fresh meals and other deli items. Not only does The Vegetarian Butcher provide plant-based meat alternatives for vegetarians and vegans, it also provides gluten-free and GMO-free products for those with food allergies and sensitivities.
The Vegetarian Butcher operates both on a bricks-and-mortar basis and through an e-commerce site that helps customers find vegan meat products online. The company’s two current locations are in Kelowna, BC and in the Gastown neighborhood of downtown Vancouver, BC.
The Vegetarian Butcher aims to provide plant-based meat substitutes not only for vegetarians and vegans, but also for the growing wave of consumers who are choosing to make plant-based meals part of their weekly diets. The business employs staff who are able to help educate customers with questions about plant-based eating.
The Vegetarian Butcher’s mission is to provide customers with a one-stop shop for quality vegetarian and plant-based food and proteins featuring knowledgeable and passionate staff.
The Vegetarian Butcher Products
The business’ core product offering falls into two categories: a) house-made, vegan meat deli items and b) white-label vegan meat substitutes. In store, the Vegetarian Butcher offers meal kits with family-sized portions and a sandwich counter, while also offering fresh and frozen packaged foods, dry and canned goods, as well as fresh food items and meals prepared on-site daily.
Catering is another service offered by The Vegetarian Butcher, which includes meals for parties to provide an alternative to meat products.
Regarding grocery items, The Vegetarian Butcher offers a wide variety featuring the following:
Vegan Ground Meatballs
The Vegetarian Butcher has a goal of becoming the #1 plant-based meat company, while developing quality vegan brands. It has been built to scale as a corporate operator and as a franchisor. Currently the company’s stores are 100% company-owned and the management team has future plans to sell franchises to qualified parties.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for change and increased the consumption of plant-based products, specifically meat substitutes. The first two stores have become self-sufficient within two months of opening, which is a significant achievement. Given the success of the first two stores, there are plans to establish new locations in Langley and Kamloops, BC.
Further, with the rise of e-commerce and consumers now shopping for groceries online, The Vegetarian Butcher is planning to become one of only a few plant-based brands to launch the sales and marketing of vegan meats online. This is expected to increase access to plant-based products for the company’s existing customers while also widening its audience by catering to those with vegan diets across a larger geography.
New areas and verticals
The Vegetarian Butcher expects to develop its own line of packaged products based on the collection and analysis of customer data and sales information. With the rise of vegan diets and those with food allergies, The Vegetarian Butcher is planning to target niche markets such as these with its packaged products.
Regarding its store roll-out strategy, The Vegetarian Butcher plans to open five locations by the end of 2021 across the cities of Langley, White Rock, and North Vancouver, BC. Following that, the company has plans to expand nationwide over the next three years with 36 locations and a focus on the large Ontario market.
Future & Growth
How will Billy Goat Brands support The Vegetarian Butchers growth?
Billy Goat Brands is providing The Vegetarian Butcher with expansion capital and experienced direction with respect to brand-building and marketing. Billy Goat currently holds a ~12.4% stake in The Vegetarian Butcher and is aligned with its core values of providing healthier alternatives to a wide audience.
In 2018, 2.3 million Canadians followed a vegetarian diet and 43% of Canadians have said they are looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet. Vegan and vegetarian diets are popular among younger consumers – for example, 79% of Generation Z consumers are eager to go meatless at least 1-2 times per week. This provides an opportunity for plant-based companies and investors alike to capitalize on the plant-based movement as a means to profit but, more important, as a way to improve the planet and its people. Therefore, Billy Goat Brands sees the opportunity to serve modern consumer values and to support companies that are offering healthy food alternatives and plant-based meat products in growing markets.
Ultimately, Billy Goat continues to be a pioneer in helping ESG-focused companies carve their paths to success while generating returns for its shareholders.
Key Stakeholder Q&A with Blair C. Lowther, BA, JD
Director & CEO of The Vegetarian Butcher
Q: When did you get involved with the company?
A: One of The Vegetarian Butcher’s co-founders is a cancer survivor and during her treatments she adopted a plant-based diet. Her experience enabled in the business to identify, analyze and fill key gaps in the plant-based food market, based on the following factors:
- There were few options available;
- There was little to no education available in stores regarding plant-based diets;
- Staff at large grocers had no knowledge of plant-based products; and
- Shoppers typically had to encounter meat products in traditional grocery stores while on the quest for plant-based alternatives.
These gaps in knowledge and product offerings became the impetus for the launch of The Vegetarian Butcher.
The Vegetarian Butcher prides itself on providing exceptional customer service and having helpful staff who educate customers about the benefits of plant-based eating.
As the business grows, The Vegetarian Butcher is accumulating more buying power to offer quality products at prices lower than those offered by most competitors.
Q: How have you seen the company change and grow since then?
A: Based on the growing awareness of and demand for plant-based eating, we wanted to offer a comfortable place for people with dietary restrictions or who have made certain lifestyle choices to learn about and purchase plant-based alternatives to traditional meat products. Since onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in demand for plant-based meat products as consumers are becoming more conscious of their anxiety levels and stress, as well as the environment and animal welfare.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also shown that there is a need for change. As The Vegetarian Butcher continues to open new stores, it is striving to meet consumers’ desire for a higher purpose through conscious consumption and lowering the carbon footprint created by their dietary choices.
We’re a purpose-driven company that aims to nourish our people and the environment through vegan meat products. We see the need to change the way that we all consume food and we also see the value in creating an economy that nurtures our planet.
Q: What are some opportunities for growth and market penetration that you’ve identified for The Vegetarian Butcher?
A: As global perceptions of meat and how we consume food evolve, we plan on expanding nationwide to provide access to plant-based meat products. Thanks to the recent documentaries like Seaspiracy and Cowspiracy, consumers are now more interested than ever about how they consume food and how it is affecting the environment.
The demand for plant-based food is on the rise and we are working to provide access to it for anyone interested in it, not just vegans.
The Vegetarian Butcher’s Latest News & Articles
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the food chain supply while the increased health risk associated with handling meat products has caused meat processing plants to suffer. As...
Our Companies in the News
The Vegetarian Butcher featured on Daily Hive
The Vegetarian Butcher featured in Kelowna Now
What Is Plant-Based Meat Made Of?
Plant-based meat is typically made from soy, peas, wheat or mushrooms. As food technology continues to evolve, plant-based meat products look and taste more and more similar to traditional meat, therey making it easier for people to substitute and incorporate them into their favourite recipes.
The terms “plant-based” and “vegan” are not the same. Some plant-based products may contain eggs, cheese or milk, so consumers following a vegan diet are only looking to purchase plant-based products are in fact 100% plant-based.
Here are some guidelines to help interested consumers choose between the best plant-based products:
- Choose products that don’t contain artificial colours; pick products with colour derived from pigments made from vegetable extracts
- Try to ensure that the product(s) include a complete protein like soy or peas, which provides essential amino acids
- Look for products that are made with 100% plant sources
Is Plant-Based Meat Healthy?
As plant-based meat alternatives are relatively new to the market, there may be some extra steps required to ensure that such products are made of the right ingredients before determining that they are right for someone’s diet. A consumer should take the necessary steps to understand their needs and ask themself the following basic questions:
Where am I getting my protein from?
Choose products that contain soy and/or protein blends like peas, brown rice or wheat, will help to sustain a protein efficient diet.
What is GMO and how does it affect my diet?
GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are organisms where the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not naturally occur. GMOs have been adopted to protect crops during the growing and cultivation process. However, the long-term effects or consuming GMOs is yet to be determined. Therefore, choosing non-GMO products can help to ensure that a consumer’s diet remains healthy.
Is plant-based meat alternatives highly processed?
Traditionally, the processing of foods has had a negative reputation for the way the process removed important vitamins and nutrients. However, advances in food technology can now ensure that additional nutrients are added into foods, especially for vegan or vegetarian products that consumers with plant-based diets rely upon to receive their daily vitamin requirements.
The health benefits of diet comprised of plant-based meat alternatives compared to a traditional meat diet is significant. It’s been stated that those who consume red meat are at a higher risk of suffering from diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and early death compared to those who do not consume it. It’s also been shown that 25% of vegetarians are less likely to die of heart disease and eating more fruits and vegetables can help prevent up to 1/3 of cancer cases.
Plant-based meat is also healthier for the planet. As global awareness of the land being destroyed to facilitate meat production is on the rise, The Vegetarian Butcher is striving to be part of the solution by supporting local produce famers and curbing the waste associated with traditional meat farming.
Where to Buy Vegan Meat
Vegan plant-based meats can be found online and in-store at The Vegetarian Butcher. At each location, there is a wide selection of fresh items available daily and customers can also check out the Grab-N-Go section of fresh sandwiches or salads.
Consumers can also find The Vegetarian Butcher’s plant-based meat substitutes via the third-party delivery applications offered by Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats and Doordash.
Check out The Vegetarian Butcher’s locations in Kelowna or Downtown Vancouver here.
- Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
- Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- White Rock, British Columbia, Canada (Opening Soon)
- Langley, British Columbia, Canada (Opening Soon)
Learn more about The Vegetarian Butcher by downloading our sell sheet below.