West MI vegan meat company ‘honored’ to be sold at Whole Foods

Nutcase Vegan Meats produces plant-based burgers, sausages, meatloaf, jerky and more. They can be found in the freezer section of the new Kentwood Whole Foods.

KENTWOOD, Michigan – The new Whole Foods in Kentwood opened its doors to a crowd on Wednesday. In the freezer section, customers can now find plant-based meat from Nutcase Vegan Meats, a company based in Wyoming, Michigan.

“It’s very exciting,” said Monica Randels, co-founder of Nutcase Vegan Meats, “It confirms to us that this is a healthy, high-level product that we will be able to put in the hands of more than people.”

Randels said Whole Foods came to sell their product to them. She said they said it was a nice surprise as it was a small local business.

Nutcase Vegan Meats is one of more than a thousand locally sourced products sold by Whole Foods in Kentwood.

“It will open a lot of doors for us,” said Andrew Maternowski, Nutcase’s other co-owner, “Because once you get into Whole Foods, it gets a little more noticed. We’re really high quality, and I thinks unique in the plant world in that there are no added oils, no additives, all natural ingredients, so I think that’s a good thing.

Nutcase Vegan Meats primarily uses nuts as the base for their meats, along with ingredients like brown rice and quinoa.

Randels said the couple started eating plant-based after their daughter watched the Food Inc. documentary in 2010.

They started making vegetable meat in their kitchen and giving it to friends.

“We didn’t find anything that we really liked, and we found it to be nutritious,” Randels said, “We all wanted the organic stuff. So, we started making it at home.”

Soon the product began to attract attention. They incorporated in 2014 and started selling in the downtown market.

They later moved production to their location on 44th Street in Wyoming.

You could say meat was in the blood of the family. They just turned it into vegetable meat.

“I’m the grandson of butchers and my uncle was a butcher,” Maternowski said, “We have butchery on both sides of our family. So we used to make our own sausages and Polish sausages and everything and to smoke them. And then the thought was, well, we’re going to do a vegan meat.”

Both are former doctors and say selling plant-based meals is a great way to help both people and the planet.

“There’s a lot of good scientific evidence and medical studies that would say the more plant-based you eat, you may be on a spectrum, but the more you eat, the longer you’ll live without medical problems,” Maternowski said.

Nutcase Vegan Meats can also be found at other West Michigan stores, such as Kingma’s and Downtown Market.

RELATED VIDEO: West Michigan Whole Foods Store Is A Dream Come True For Kentwood Mayor

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