Gathered Foods, makers of Good Catch plant-based faux seafood, on October 7 announced its launch into restaurant service through a partnership with Veggie Grill, the Santa Monica, California-headquartered fast casual vegan dining chain operating at 37 locations in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Washington.
This follows the summertime launch of a new line of high-protein frozen appetizers and entrees, the appointment of Christine Mei as chief executive officer in July, and the opening of a dedicated production facility in Heath, Ohio.
From now through the end of the year, Veggie Grill will add a limited-edition exclusive Tuna Melt to the menu featuring Good Catch’s plant-based, fish-free tuna. This partnership is Gathered Foods first foray into the restaurant industry, with a larger retail expansion planned in the next few months.
Founding Chefs Derek and Chad Sarno formulated the company’s proprietary six-legume blend (peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans and navy beans), achieving a texture that mimics the flakiness of seafood. It works well in creating a wide assortment of meal options ranging from classic deli-style sandwiches to casseroles, chowders and spicy fish-free tuna rolls. It is safe and enjoyable for those consumers with shellfish allergies and can be used in any recipe that calls for conventional tuna.
“Quality and innovation are a crucial part of our culinary journey. We’ve been working for years to bring this high quality, great tasting product to the foodservice industry so that consumers nationwide can reimagine how to enjoy their favorite tuna dishes,” said Chief Culinary Officer Sarno. “We are excited to partner with Veggie Grill to offer this delicious plant-based Tuna Melt featuring our plant-based tuna product, and we look forward to an exciting few months ahead as we continue to expand our restaurant footprint.”
Veggie Grill provides 100% plant-based menu options, from salads and bowls to burgers and sandwiches. Crafting food that is free of animal ingredients, antibiotics and hormones, it is closely aligned with Good Catch’s mission to raise consciousness, reduce harm, and preserve environmental resources.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Good Catch and bring yet another delicious and innovative plant-based item to our menu,” said Kajsa Alger, vice president of food and beverage at Veggie Grill. “Tuna melts are a comfort food favorite for many people and this fish-free offering is a way for us to satisfy that craving, while staying true to our mission of inspiring the world to make a meaningful impact through the food we eat.”
Good Catch’s entry into the restaurant industry continues a busy year of growth for the brand. Following news of a $36.8 million Series B Financing Round in January, the company’s distribution footprint was expanded on an international scale with its Tesco launch in the United Kingdom. In March, a joint distribution venture was announced with Bumble Bee Foods, as well as new financial backing from celebrities including Woody Harrelson, Shailene Woodley, Paris Hilton and Lance Bass.