Vegetarian Butcher Named 2016 Emerging Entrepreneur

Dutch butcher takes home prestigious award for excellence in developing meat-free alternatives.

Jaap Korteweg (known as “The Vegetarian Butcher”) has won the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur Award in the Netherlands. Korteweg was selected as the winner among seven finalists in the category—which included founders of a cheese company, a fashion brand, and an Apple electronics refurbishing company. The 21st annual award competition took place in sixty countries worldwide and selected winners were chosen based on the vision, passion, inspiration, and leadership they demonstrated in their field. “He translates sincere idealism in down-to-earth entrepreneurship,” the awards committee said, of Korteweg, in a press release. “[He] dares to leave the beaten path and builds in this way not only a successful business, but also a [potentially invaluable] legacy.” Korteweg and co-founder Niko Koffeman opened The Vegetarian Butcher—or De Vegetarische Slager—as the world’s first meat-free butcher shop in 2011 in the Netherlands. The Vegetarian Butcher’s meat-free products are primarily made with lupin—a fava bean-like legume native to the Mediterranean region and a protein-rich alternative to soy. The company has since expanded its distribution of products such as Vegan Chicken Chunks, Vegan Chicken Skewers, and Vegan Beef Strips to retailers in 15 countries including Spain, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, and The Republic of Korea.

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