The debut marks the first time Canadians can buy the popular chicken product, which frequently sells out online. Based in California, Atlas Monroe is reportedly the largest producer of vegan fried chicken in the world.
Deborah Torres, Atlas Monroe’s founder and CEO, won the first pitch competition held by Copper Branch and The Vegan Women Summit, leading to an opportunity for Torres to partner with the Canadian fast-casual chain.
Success after Shark Tank
Atlas Monroe first gained national notoriety when Deborah and co-founder Johnathan Torres appeared on an episode of Shark Tank in 2019. During their appearance, the pair famously turned down a $1 million dollar offer from Mark Cuban and Rohan Oza to acquire 100% ownership of the company.
Despite not making a deal, the company has gone on to thrive. In early 2021, Atlas Monroe opened a two-story, multi-million manufacturing plant in San Diego, CA capable of producing one million pounds of plant-based chicken every year. There are also plans for a second facility expansion.
The company has reportedly achieved $2 million in online sales since the Shark Tank appearance, and increased the menu offerings to include plant-based ribs, bacon, lasagna and mac ‘n cheese.
Next stage of growth
Bringing Atlas Monroe’s beloved chicken to Canada represents the next stage of growth and success for the ambitious young brand.
CEO of Copper Branch, Trish Paterson, commented: “We are beyond excited to bring this amazing product to our customers while showcasing the hard work of Deborah Torres. We’re proud to bring something truly unique to the Canadian plant-based market while also championing not just women entrepreneurs – but also women entrepreneurs of colour – who are often underrepresented in the world of food innovation. We know people are not only going to love this Nashville Chicken Sandwich – but also the story of how it came to be.”
“Copper Branch is an amazing company doing amazing things and working with them and having this opportunity is truly extraordinary. For years we’ve had people asking when we were coming to Canada and we’re so excited to finally get this chance to bring our product to them in the form of this delicious sandwich. It’s truly special,” said Deborah Torres, founder of Atlas Monroe.