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This incubator is helping more vegan restaurants to open in 2021

A new incubator for the Plant Food Lab was recently opened in Washington, DC as a test site for new vegan businesses. Founders Margaux Riccio and Shaun Sharkey, who also own a fast-casual shop for Asian fusion Pow Pow– wanted a place where they could experiment with new menus and restaurant ideas, and involve chefs to test concepts before taking them out into the world. Riccio and Sharkey’s own vegan burger shop, Bubbie’s plant burgeris the first concept to open a shop in the Plant Food Lab. Bubbie’s offers seitan and beet-based burgers with vegan pork belly bacon and cheese, french fries and vegan crispy chicken sandwiches to take away and deliver. Finally, the Plant Food Lab will add seating.

“It’s scary that nobody is opening restaurants right now. Everyone thinks we’re a little bit crazy about it,” Riccio told the media company eater. “We feel that with all the food shortages, if they wouldn’t try the normal way, with all the food shortages, this is a good time to reach out to new people. The food supply is severely disrupted.”

This summer, Riccio and Sharkey plan to open a separate location for Bubbie and convert the incubator space into New York-style delicatessen stores where they can make and sell vegan cold cuts, sausages and cheese. Plant Food Lab also stocks products from Vertage, Riccio’s wholesale company that supplies vegan cheese and meat to other restaurants.

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