What the Heck is a Plant-Based Butcher Anyways?

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COVER STORY SEPTEMBER 2016

Simply put, it’s one of the hottest food concepts to hit the market in, dare we say, decades!

YamChops is North America’s first plant-based butcher shop. Some might say that’s an oxymoron, but YamChops believes plant-based proteins can (and should) be a staple of any kitchen or diet. Their foods appeal to all types of eaters: vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians – those who are choosing to reduce their meat, fish and dairy consumption.

YamChops is firmly rooted in one of the fastest growing categories (plant-based foods) serving three of the fastest growing market segments (flexitarian, vegan, vegetarian).

Opened in June of 2014, YamChops is a labor of love created by Michael and Toni Abramson, ad agency owners turned plant-based butchers.

“From the logo and branding; to store design, guiding principles and operation/ training manuals, YamChops has always been designed for franchise expansion”, explains Founder, Michael Abramson. “Our efforts are echoed back to us not only in the tremendous media attention we have received since opening but also in the constant query of our customers and interested franchisees about whether we are a franchise or have multiple locations.”

Featured in hundreds of media vehicles, a stand-out highlight of YamChops first year in business was an invitation to appear on Canada’s top-rated ‘Dragons’ Den’ – a reality television show that sees entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to a panel of investors. YamChops, only nine months old at the time, was offered a deal on the show, but in the end, they chose not to close.

Says Toni Abramson, “Our experience on ‘Dragons’ Den’ was amazing! While our sights were firmly set on expansion, we realized that we still had a lot to do before we were franchise ready!”

Fast forward one year… YamChops, shortly after their second anniversary, signed an agreement with Box Concepts Food Group, headed by long-time industry professionals Scott Bender and Lawrence Eade, to expand YamChops internationally.

YamChops will be the focal point of the Box Concepts’ entry into the fast growing plant-based foods industry. According to Bender and Eade, “We are thrilled to partner and grow YamChops. The passion, knowledge, and experience YamChops brings to our group is a perfect fit for our business model. We couldn’t be happier.”

“The response to YamChops since opening our doors in 2014 has been humbling”, continues Michael Abramson. “In addition to receiving amazing support from the media, YamChops has been flooded with requests to open additional locations across North America. It’s taken us two years to get to this point and now that we’ve teamed with Scott and Lawrence – we’re finally ready!”

YamChops really does look like a butcher shop with sweeping butcher counters displaying prepared, plant-based protein alternatives. Front and center is their top selling Szechuan “Beef”, surrounded by offerings including Indonesian Spiced & Grilled Tofu, TunaLess “Tuna”, Korean BBQ Chick*n, Carrot “Lox”, CrabLess “Crab Cakes, BBQ Seitan Ribs and FishLess “Fish”.

YamChops’ products include: butcher counter proteins – prepared fresh daily, salads, cold pressed juices, grab-and-go lunches, deli counter items (wraps, tacos and burgers), YamChops Own dry goods (Coconut Ba-Con, chutneys, condiments), YamChops Own refrigerated items (sauces, dressings, soups) and YamChops Own frozen items (meatless meatballs, burgers, cutlets). Their corporate location also offers locally produced specialty items including a full line of dairy-free, plant-based cheese.

YamChops has a first-to-market advantage in the emerging plant-based butcher category. Their competitive strategy will focus on product performance in relation to taste, texture and value; quality of service; and the execution of an effective marketing and distribution structure.

Critical success factors include the capture of the emerging “plant-based butcher” or “plant-based protein” market share and the training and oversight of YamChops’ franchisees to enable success in our three “bottom lines”: extra-ordinary food, extra-ordinary service and solid finance.

The new team is in place to deliver YamChops to you starting this Fall. Entry for qualified, multi-unit franchisees is:

  • $98,000 – $260,000 Investment
  • $30,000 Franchise Fee
  • 6% Royalty / 3% Marketing Fee
  • $40,000-$80,000 Initial Capital Investment (Owner’s Equity)
  • 6 Week Training Program

The Growth in Plant-Based Foods is Undeniable…

+10.06% – Non Dairy Beverages

+12.71% – Meat Alternatives

+30.11% – Cheese Alternatives

Source: The Plant-Based Foods Association with SPINS Data (June 2015 – June 2016). U.S. representative data. Natural Channel growth.

Plant-Based Eating is Mainstream…

  • 36% of Americans eat at least one plant-based meal per week (Harris Interactive)
  • 26% of Americans intentionally reduced their meat consumption in the last 12 months (Nutrition Business Journal)
  • 1 in 10 American Millennials are vegetarian or vegan. (Nutrition Business Journal)
  • 36% of American Consumers buy plant-based meats. (Mintels Meat Alt. Report)
  • 36% of American Consumers prefer plant-based milk/cheese. (Nutrition Business Journal)
  • 60% of American Millennials consume plant-based meats. (210 Analytics Survey)

www.yamchops.com