Welcome to the Flourysh Five where you get to know and love Black owned brands right here on Flourysh. With me today is Diana King, co-founder of Eat UNrestricted, a plant-based brand rethinking how we see vegan cheese.
This is a plant-based food company and your signature line right now is all about the cheese. Better cheddar with different flavors. So first let's just talk about the company. I want to get into your backstory.
At Eat Unrestricted, we produce allergen friendly cheese subs that are naturally gluten-free, soy free and it's vegan, a hundred percent vegan. It even has a clean label. So, we never use anything like artificial preservatives or color. We currently have three flavors. We have garlic, chipotle, and original, and we have it in two different sizes.
We've been featured in AJC. That's a really big publication in Atlanta and we're also offered in few independent stores in Atlanta, New York, as well as Philly. So yeah, that's pretty much the gist of what Eat Unrestricted is, and again, it's better cheddar!
And you have a story behind your vegan journey and your inspiration to really look at your diet and see how it can help you live a healthy life. Can you tell us a little bit of the backstory for your inspiration to become and create a vegan plant-based company and be a vegan yourself?
Yeah, definitely. So, I have a family history of cancer, high blood pressure and just a lot of health issues. Not only do I have those issues, but my co-founder Eric, he has that in his family as well. It’s becoming very prevalent. Not only that, but food allergies are also becoming very common. So, we wanted to explore having more options operated in the marketplace where it still addresses people who have certain needs, such as finding really good food that is allergen friendly. And back when we came up with the idea, there was not a lot of options that were very delicious or tasty for us.
So, we just decided to look into perfecting a recipe, which we did. We spent over two years perfecting this recipe to make an allergen friendly cheese that's made primarily from carrots and potatoes and tastes like cheese.
Wow. So, carrots and potatoes, that's the taste. How else would you describe it, because you're right, I've tried a lot of vegan cheese and sometimes the texture is right, but the taste isn't. You know, there's always something that's off. How did you guys get your cheese to your standard to where you were like, “You know what, this is it.”?
Yeah, good question. So, for the first two years we not only worked on a recipe, but introduced it to my peers that also had similar problems when it came to finding good taste that was also accommodating to their allergens as well as their taste. I'm from the south, when it comes to like delicious meals, we have to come correct. But I can't eat regular cheese, so that's when my co-founder really played a vital role in tasting it to make sure that it actually tastes like cheese, that it was premium, that it milked, right, and that we can use it in as a replacement for almost any dish that has cheese in it.
So, after doing countless dinners with our friends to see how they would respond to it and surprising some of my friends by doing a blind test and seeing if they even noticed a difference, that's how we pretty much came up with what we have now.
The customer can appreciate that because you're going out and you're trying other people's pallets. And that brings me to the next question of, why cheese? Why did you want to start here? Because I know you've got a future in other things you want to try, but you decided to start with cheese. Why is that?
Yeah, another great question. So, being part of the vegan community, I noticed that a lot of my peers who were having a hard time transitioning into a completely vegan diet, due to their own choice, they found it hard to really find the dairy alternatives. And dairy is used in pretty much everything. Not only that, when it comes to the climate change issues that are happening, cows are playing a vital role in that. And they don't only produce beef, they also produce milk that is in cheese. So, we were like, “we're not only wanting to help people, but we want to also look at the bigger picture, which is also helping our environment, helping people feel good and et cetera”.
After looking at exactly what product we can make to not only do one thing, but to do all those things, we thought maybe cheese would be the best route to go.
I love that you pointed that out because I did notice that you're interested in sustainable methods and I think people often forget that with being vegan or choosing products that use no animal whatsoever, the benefit to that is also our climate and cutting into all that is happening to contribute to climate change. So, I'm so glad you brought that up, that you are a sustainable company and you're mindful of taking that step away from animal meat and cheese. So, my last question is just what do you want people to really know about your brand?
We want to focus on not only changing the way people eat, but also how they think about food. Like you said, we're very mindful about what food does, not only for our bodies, but for the environment. And I feel like a lot of people are starting to notice that and they want to feel better, not just physically, like when it comes to weight loss or anything like that, but also with your energy. Having more energy throughout the day and finding something that's more fulfilling right.
I feel people don't really think about how impactful food is in their day to day activities. Like it potentially could be because it has led to a lot of scientific studies that has shown that what you eat does matter whether it is for your health, for the environment, or for the people you know. So to anyone that this can impact in a positive way, please spread the word. Let them know that they have more options and that this could be a perfect solution for what they're trying to do in their lives.
Yes, yes. I encourage people to just try it. I mean, especially if you're already someone who tries vegan cheese, because usually the first one's not the best one, so you try another one. This is another great option and it's a black owned business!