The region’s first all-vegan cheese and dessert bar is poised to open its doors in Birmingham. Planthropie will debut on Saturday, February 22 at 135 Pierce St. with showstopping cakes and treats.
Owner Rua Francis Oshana is behind the new project, which specializes in desserts and cheeses for customers with alternative diets or allergies. All of the cafe’s items are vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free. Oshana also prepares them with primarily raw ingredients that are organic and fair trade.
Oshana studied medicine in Iraq before fleeing the country due to war and relocating to Canada where she worked as a dental hygienist and nutrition counselor for six years. When she relocated to the U.S. she studied business marketing and developed her interests in art while raising her son at home.
She first developed an interest in making vegan desserts and cheeses after discovering her son’s allergy to dairy. “That’s when I started experimenting with creating healthy alternatives — cheeses and desserts that I wanted for us to eat and I couldn’t find in the market,” she says. In 2017, she came up with the idea for Planthropie based off her own home recipes. The following year, Oshana began hosting pop-ups under that name including a sold-out, five-course dessert for dinner event at Chef’s Table inside the Detroit Foundation Hotel.
Overtime, wholesale demand grew for Plantropie’s products and Oshana decided to open her own storefront. “To me, it’s not just the product or the food. It’s an entire experience,” she says. The shop will feature a counter service format with around 20 seats including cafe seating, booths, and standing tables.
On the menu, customers can expect items made primarily with Planthropie’s recipe for cultured cashew cream such as cheesecakes with lightly toasted almond crust and chocolate truffles. There’s also cheeses like the garlic noir made with sweet black garlic and cashews and white truffle cashew cheese. Planthropie plans to offer cheese plates and dessert plates on weekdays with more expansive offerings like macaroni and cheese and chef-selected “tours” of the dessert and cheese menu Friday through Sunday. Planthropie is also opening a dry bar with non-alcoholic wines.
Oshana says she plans to expand the offerings at the shop as Plathropie grows into the space. Take a peek at the preview menu below.
Planthropie is located at 135 Pierce St.; Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday (Closed Monday).
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