Have we mentioned how much we love Better Chew?
Did you know that Better Chew does much more than make droolworthy meat alternatives? This Black-owned plant-based comfort food brand is democratizing access to vegan food in schools, food deserts, low-income communities, and more.
Better Chew Products in Public Schools
Better Chew’s latest initiative is the launch of vegan mac ‘n’ cheese in California public schools. This is even more exciting than their trial and launch of plant-based meats in schools last fall—and here’s why.
For starters, this mac ‘n’ cheese (named Mac ‘n’ Chew) will be formulated specifically to meet the nutrition requirements of US public schools. The recipe will feature whole food ingredients like non-GMO soy beans and carrots. But it tastes just as indulgent and creamy as traditional mac ‘n’ cheese. Even kids agree!
Better Chew founder Chef Chew hosted a “Chat & Chew” at Western Placer Unified School District in Sacramento, California. The session involved a live vegan mac ‘n’ cheese taste test with students, followed by a talk-back where Chef Chew educated the students on plant-based food.
“We met with a fourth grade class and the kids loved it. One of the little girls in the class gave me a sticky note that said, ‘Love it!’ I still keep it on my desk,” shared Chef Chew.
Mac ‘n’ Chew will debut at Western Placer Unified School District this year. The initial rollout will involve 2,000 servings every two weeks, with plans to increase over time.
Vegan Black History Lunch for 3,500 Students in California School District
Another exciting public school launch takes place this month at Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. In honor of Black History Month, the school district is partnering with Better Chew to provide a vegan Soul Food lunch to all students. This is the first-ever 100% plant-based meal made available to public school students. And with the lineup of Better Chew Extra Crispy Fried Chicken, Chicken Nuggets, Mac ‘n’ Chew, and Soul Food Greens, we have a feeling this won’t be the last.
Better Chew Kitchen
Another way Better Chew plans to democratize access to plant-based foods is through a new vegan restaurant and market. In a couple of months, Chef Chew will open Better Chew Kitchen—the first vegan brick-and-mortar restaurant in Vallejo, California.
The menu features Better Chew products in globally inspired dishes crafted by Chef Chew. “We’re gonna have amazing dishes like our Philly Chewsteaks, Tacos, Quesadillas, Ramen Bowls, Chew Mein (lo mein), Fried Chicken, Mac ’n’ Chew, and Country Boy Greens,” Chef Chew stated.
Affordable Vegan Market and Community Hub
In addition to the restaurant, the Better Chew Kitchen space includes an affordable vegan market and community hub. Customers can find Better Chew meats and other products from plant-based brands at a cheaper price than at competing stores.
Beyond food, Better Chew Kitchen serves as a center for education and building community. Upon opening, the location will host a variety of classes and workshops for cooking, health education, mental health, and more.
Building Capital and Community Wealth
So, by this point, you might be wondering, “How is all of this possible?” Well, Better Chew recently raised capital through the mission-driven investors REAL People’s Fund, Chordata Capital, and angel investors. Most food brands and startups find funding through venture capital. But often, this creates pressure on brands to grow immediately rather than building a solid base and focusing on the mission of the brand.
Better Chew’s investors believe in building community wealth, not just brand prosperity. For example, they want to create jobs for the community and invest in team members’ well-being. Chef Chew explains, “We wanted to have long-term ownership as a Black-founded company. And the whole idea of building something only to turn around and sell it in 5-10 years just didn’t make sense to me.”
For more information, visit EatBetterChew.com.