Today, Philadelphia-based vegan fast-casual chain HipCityVeg will soft-launch the Oh Maitake Beyond Burger in partnership with 19-year-old vegan activist Haile Thomas. The burger was created to support the local community with $1 from each sale going to help vegan nonprofit Support + Feed deliver plant-based meals to families in Philadelphia and DC who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oh Maitake Beyond Burger features crispy maitake mushrooms, herb spread, iceberg lettuce, pickled red onions, alfalfa sprouts, and smoked gouda cheese, all piled on a gluten-free bun. On the official launch date on November 12, the first 25 customers to order the burger in each store will receive a free order of sweet potato French fries.
Thomas and HipCityVeg Founder and CEO Nicole Marquis collaborated on the project because it reflects their shared commitment to making plant-based meals and fighting food insecurity. Thomas rose to prominence at age 12, when she created a non-profit organization to empower and educate youth in underserved communities and to address their need for affordable plant-based nutrition and wellness education.
“I’ve always wanted to work on a purposeful partnership with a vegan restaurant. The way this one is aligned in our personal stories and is supporting communities through sales of a plant-based burger makes it so deeply meaningful,” Thomas said. “It’s incredibly important to bring some light into dark times. Our intention is for this collaboration to do that for consumers and the communities we are supporting.”
Support + Feed is an initiative created by vegan climate activist Maggie Baird—who is the mother of musicians Billie Eilish and Finneas—in response to the pandemic and the growing issue of food insecurity in BIPOC communities. HipCityVeg is part of the initiative’s Philadelphia chapter, which launched in May and has delivered thousands of plant-based meals through local organizations serving the community. Additional chapters of Support + Feed are in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, DC.
Photo Credit: Alexsey Reyes/Andre Rucker