Racial Justice-Focused Vegan Eatery to Open in Minnesota

Three friends plan to open Trio Plant-Based in Minneapolis to promote justice for animals and humans alike.


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Friends Sarah and Dan Woodcock and Louis Hunter plan to open Trio-Plant Based, Minneapolis, MN’s first all-vegan restaurant. The trio met after a Black Lives Matter protest in Minnesota where Hunter, a black man, was wrongly arrested on several felony riot charges and taken to jail. In the months following his arrest, the Woodcocks organized protests to free Hunter—who would face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. When Hunter’s charges were dropped, he reunited with the Woodcocks to develop the concept of Trio Plant-Based—a restaurant operated mostly by people of color where the founders hope all social-justice movements intersect. “The vegan movement is, at its core, about justice and respect for animals in terms of respecting their rights as sentient beings to not be used as resources,” Sarah Woodcock told VegNews. “And while, as a non-black person, I cannot speak to the meaning of the Black Lives Matter movement, I respect and cherish it because I believe that Black Lives Matter—truly, deeply, and forever.” The restaurant will not exclude potential employees based on race, ethnicity, or criminal history, and will eventually feature a “token” system that allows patrons to purchase a meal to those in need. “We have never been shy about our anti-racist positions,” Hunter said. “The truth is that Black Lives Matter is part of our foundation,” Hunter said, adding, “we will pay a fair wage and foster an environment of respect.” The trio has hosted several successful plant-based pop-ups—serving dishes such as lasagne, burgers, vegan chicken wings, and vanilla cake—in the area in recent months and successfully raised funds via Kickstarter last week to open the brick-and-mortar location.