As plant-based meats become more and more mainstream, some consumers have expressed concern about the amount of processing involved in creating common meat alternatives. Prompted by such concerns, husband-and-wife team Dominique and Wendy Da’Cruz set out to create the Cruz Burger: a whole foods-based burger patty that is as nourishing as it is satisfying.
Based out of Detroit, MI, the couple launched the clean-label Cruz Burger at multiple Michigan retailers earlier this month, including Riverdown Market Detroit, Bridgestreet Market and Westborn Market locations, among other stores. The product can also be purchased online.
Billed as “Old school veggie burgers with new school flavor”, the patties are made from portobello mushrooms, produce and a mix of spices and seasonings. Sold in units of two, each serving contains 150 calories and is free of soy, gluten and GMO’s, the brand says.
Community and inclusion
Cruz Burgers was founded during the 2020 pandemic, and was inspired by Daniel’s Fast – a Biblical fast that excludes animal products and encourages the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. After crafting the Cruz Burger recipe in their kitchen, the couple began selling the patties online. According to Dominique, the product’s chosen name holds special meaning and importance.
“The English word for Cruz translates to ‘Cross’. We are a ‘Cross’ burger, a place where people can cross paths – vegans, vegetarians, meat lovers alike, can sit at the same table and enjoy the same meal,” he explains. The brand says it has gained an enthusiastic following at farmer’s markets, and customers have used the patties for cooking tacos, chili, Philly cheesesteaks and more.
A mission of nutrition
After spending most of last year perfecting the recipe, the brand has a better understanding of demand. ”We’ve figured out both and now we are going where they are asking us to come,” says Dominque.
According to co-founder Wendy, Cruz Burgers is devoted to its mission to provide minimally-processed plant-based alternatives. “We use simple and fresh ingredients that everyone can pronounce,” she says, adding: “Our one patty can be plated multiple ways. This is why they are convenient, nutritious and delicious.”