Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 12

The fancy plant cheese monger

T

hirty years ago, serial entrepreneur and chef Miyoko
Schinner loved cheese. Specifically, gourmet boards of
Brie, Gouda and cheddar accompanied by a glass of wine.
When she became vegan, she discovered how to replicate her beloved indulgence using plant-based ingredients
and age-old cheesemaking techniques. She authored several
books, including "Artisan Vegan Cheese" and "The Homemade Vegan Pantry."
In 2014, she launched her Sonoma, Calif.-based business, Miyoko's Creamery, selling vegan versions of European-style cheese wheels, cream cheese and butter made with
organic ingredients such as nuts and legumes with no fillers,
additives or artificial ingredients.
"I heard wherever I went that
cheese was the last hurdle," Ms.
Schinner said. "People kept saying,
'I'd go vegan but for the cheese.'
There's a lot of focus now on the role
meat plays in climate change, but for
some reason dairy is given a pass as
if it's somehow more benign.
"The dairy industry is tantamount to the meat industry. It's one
in the same. In fact, it's worse because
MIYOKO'S CREAMERY
we're producing milk, depleting
resources, using water, land, emitting
for people to switch, and in turn, eat
greenhouse gas, etc., and then we're
healthier while being more compasproducing meat on top of that. People
sionate to animals and our planet."
often forget to think about that, and I
Miyoko's Creamery is investing
do believe there's a moral imperative
in research and development with
for businesses to take the lead in trya focus on creating products with
ing to reverse climate change. It just
simple, recognizable ingredients
seemed like if I was going to make
that match the taste and texture of
- Miyoko Schinner,
sense of my life personally, and I had
cheese and other dairy products.
developed these cheeses and written
"We are ramping up our efforts
Miyoko's Creamery
a book on it, then I needed to launch
in innovation," Ms. Schinner said.
something one more time."
"We're increasing staff. We're going to
Miyoko's portfolio of high-end
be putting a lot of effort into researchcheese wheels are available in more
ing the powers of plants and figuring
than 12,000 retail outlets nationwide. Later this year, the
out what can we do that's natural, that's whole foods-based, to
company will introduce a lineup of lower-priced, mainstream
transform plants into flavors and formats that are recognizable
cheese offerings made from oats and legumes to appeal to
and familiar to Americans and the rest of the world."
more consumers, she said.
The company also recently announced plans to partner
"Ultimately what's going to save the planet aren't the
with a California dairy farmer to convert the farmland to
fancy cheese wheels but everyday cheddar, pepper jack,
plants for human consumption. The transitioned acreage
mozzarella for pizza, etc.," Ms. Schinner said. "Food service
will become part of Miyoko's Creamery product developis key. We were at a major quick-service restaurant headment and supply chain.
quarters last week meeting with them about using our
"We often say we're really a mission with a company,
cheeses because we think every great vegan burger needs
and our mission is to have the same kind of impact alternaa great vegan cheese. This year is our big push to get into
tive milks have had on the fluid milk category but even to
quick-service restaurants and offer a holistic solution for
do it more aggressively," Ms. Schinner said. "We have a ways
everybody wanting something quick and vegan."
to go, but we're at the tipping point, and I'm just so excited
In February, the company announced the launch of a
because I've been at this for a very, very long time.
meltable mozzarella-style product for food service operators
"If you had asked me 20 years ago if the world would
that may be used in pizza, lasagna and Philadelphia-style
ever go vegan, I would have said, no. I felt like I was hitcheese steak sandwiches.
ting my head against the wall with some of these earlier
"People eat a lot of pizza, billions of slices a year," Ms.
businesses I had. I'm so full of hope, and I truly believe we're
Schinner said. "When products made 100% from plants taste
turning the corner where the majority of people are going to
and perform like their cow dairy counterparts, it makes it easy
start adopting a plant-based diet. I really do believe that." ▪

'We often say we're
really a mission with
a company, and our
mission is to have
the same kind of
impact alternative
milks have had on
the fluid milk category but even to do it
more aggressively.'

12

Food Business News

March 3, 2020



Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020

Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020
Commentary - Mind the gap
What's in store for retail?
The plant-based revolutionaries
The Amazon effect
News
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 2
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - Commentary - Mind the gap
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - What's in store for retail?
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 5
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - The plant-based revolutionaries
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 7
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 8
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 9
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 10
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 11
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 12
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 13
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - The Amazon effect
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 15
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 16
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 17
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - News
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 19
Food Entrepreneur - March 3, 2020 - 20
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