Earlier this month, popular high-end department store chain Neiman Marcus launched Café on 3, a new plant-based cafe, at its Beverly Hills location, which is great news for shoppers who need to refuel healthily for their retail therapy.
The new restaurant serves up a menu created by executive chef Alan Campos Arroyo and desserts by Yvonne Ardestani of Yvonne's Vegan Kitchen.
Ardestani tells Organic Authority that her collaboration came about the Gen Z way: through Instagram.
"I was referred by one of the many beautiful people in our vegan community who I met through Instagram," she says. "It’s exciting to see my delicious treats sold in a new plant-based cafe, in a well-known luxury department store, and in Beverly Hills of all places."
She adds, "It’s awesome to see the plant-based movement making it into the mainstream, especially in places where we don’t normally see it. When I see new vegan restaurants pop up, it makes me feel hopeful because I feel that more and more people are making decisions based on their health and our environment, and are ultimately conscientious about how the choices they make today affect tomorrow."
The French-trained chef already has a fan in actress (and Neiman Marcus shopper) Jessica Alba who has posted on her Instagram, as well as sampled, Ardestani's donuts, goatless cheese, superfood crackers, and cheesecakes.
Yvonne's Vegan Kitchen's signature full-sized cakes will be sold at the Cafe 3 by the slice, as well as her donuts, chocolate chai cookies, thin mints, and eventually, her NY-style cheesecake and peanut butter chocolate cake -- a personal favorite of Ardestani herself.
"I love taking familiar flavors and desserts, and taking a healthier spin on them," she says. "I also enjoy shocking non-plant-based folks when I tell them what they just ate was vegan."
Ardestani notes that she has seen an increase in demand for plant-based desserts. "In most locations that carry our treats, they sell out," she says. "There are more health-conscious consumers looking to find healthier alternatives."
She also reveals she's been approached by "a couple of national health food chains," adding that she "would love my products to be more accessible to a larger audience. It would allow me to show them that [eating] vegan, gluten-free is not only nourishing and a healthier alternative, but also absolutely delicious."
A healthy and yummy excuse to shop and snack? Now that we can definitely get onboard with.
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