Vegan eatery Next Level Burger (NLB) will expand to its first location outside of Oregon, the Roosevelt Square location of Whole Foods Market in Seattle, this August. The plant-based burger shop will have a prominent presence at the front of the market and serve an expanded menu of beer, cider, dairy-free shakes infused with coffee from Groundwork Coffee Co., and an array of burgers—including the recently added Beyond Burger Stack, an all-organic double-decker burger featuring two Beyond Burger patties, special seasoning, tomatoes, lettuce, and a choice of vegan cheddar or vegan Swiss cheese. “I think it’s a game-changer for the store and for the region,” Whole Foods Market’s Regional PR Director Erika Dimmler tells VegNews. “It aligns with our values, as well. There is an appetite for this even for people that wouldn’t classify themselves as vegan.” NLB co-founder Matthew de Gruyter says the expansion grew from a demand made by Seattle residents visiting the eatery’s Oregon locations—the first of which de Gruyter launched with his wife Cierra in 2015. “What Whole Foods has done for sustainable food,” de Gruyter says, “we’d love to do for plant-based dining.” De Gruyter plans to expand NLB to new locations nationwide in the coming months.
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