USA Today crowned Minneapolis-based vegan butcher shop The Herbivorous Butcher the winner of its nationwide contest to determine America’s best food and drink makers. The vegan butcher shop was up against nine other finalists, including upcycled spirit decanters Reclamation Etchworks and candy-makers Sparkling Sweets Boutique—who took second and third place, respectively. Initial nominations were made by USA Today’s editorial staff plus a panel of experts, before voting was opened to readers in September. The Herbivorous Butcher—founded by brother-and-sister team Kale and Aubry Walch—gained popularity as the first all-vegan butcher shop to open in the United States, and continues to innovate their plant-based meat and cheese creations to attract customers across the country. “Winning is perhaps less a testament to our popularity but more to the love and support of the vegan community,” Kale told VegNews. “The vegan movement has obviously grown, and people are bringing their passion and compassion into all aspects of their lives.” The Herbivorous Butcher’s Kale and Aubry Walch are winners of the 2016 VegNews Veggie Awards in the category of Media Darlings.