Bakery Struggles to Expand as the Demand for Plant-Based Food Increases
Southern Roots Vegan Bakery struggles to expand as the world demands more plant-based options.
You know them, you love them! Southern Roots Vegan Bakery(SRVB) is an online vegan bakery that ships unbelievably delicious Southern-inspired, scratch-made baked goods nationwide and has been nominated by VegNews (the world’s #1 plant-based magazine) in 2021 and 2022 as the BEST Vegan Bakery in America.
Now, this popular vegan brand needs your help as they work to expand their offerings in the food service industry, such as hotels, convention centers, corporations, restaurants, coffee shop chains and schools (who need to fulfill their HUB requirements), as well as grocery stores like Sprouts and Kroger.
Although the market demand for vegan food is expanding, it’s slow-moving, like most trends. Vegans and health-conscious people need to continue to bang the drum to be heard far and wide.
“Guests at hotels should let management know that their needs aren’t being met,” says SRVB co-owner, Cara Pitts. “And we know that they aren’t. We were just in NYC for the Plant-Based World Expo, and the only vegan food we could eat at our hotel were the French fries and one salad option.”
Although SRVB is thrilled to have new food service contracts that include Trinity University, the Witte Museum and some Hyatt Hotels, it’s been a challenge getting into distribution with the heavy hitters in the industry, such as KeHE, Sysco, Unify and US Foods.
“There’s definitely a barrier to entry for small businesses like ours in regards to finding the right contact who will give your business a chance,” says Cara. “We get great feedback on our product, and we can meet the demand. The issue, now, is about the food service companies not letting us through the door. We have all the requirements and capabilities needed. We just need the food service giants to give us a shot.”
“I must say that Southern Roots makes some of the finest vegan baked goods I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. As a food industry professional working in such a unique space, our food must be approachable for people of all dietary needs who visit our museum. Southern Roots has truly met that need and excels past all expectations!” says Chef Overton Lesley, Café Manager for the Witte Museum.
With almost five years under their belt as a national brand, SRVB still retains their independent, small business mentality but has the capability to not only handle nationwide distribution for their customer base, but provide scrumptious treats for their corporate customers with orders for thousands of employees.
As the holidays are ramping up, SRVB is looking forward to partnering with corporations to provide the best of the best vegan treats for holiday parties and corporate functions. Last season, PETA awarded SRVB for the Best Sweet Potato Pie.
“Ultimately, our long-term vision is to be able to supply our scrumptious scratch-baked vegan goodies to senior care organizations like nursing homes, assisted living and hospitals. I was a former professional caregiver and my husband and business partner, Marcus, and I actually met while working in the healthcare field, so it’s a personal passion of ours. Plus, my grandmother, Mary Lee, who just turned 99-years-old, has been such an inspiration for our business,” says Cara.
SRVB’s products are not only flavorful and vegan, but they are made using natural ingredients, including natural dyes such as tumeric for the lemon cake donuts, so they are a much healthier option for those looking to eat better.
At the recent Plant-Based World Expo, doctors and dieticians were scanning through the ingredients lists and excited that they can recommend SRVB products to their patients. Cara and Marcus have always been proud to make baked goods that allow people to still enjoy the treats they love without sacrificing.
For more information on Southern Roots Vegan Bakery, visit southernrootsvegan.com.