Products & Launches

Meet Udderless: A Virginia Startup Making the World’s “Best Bake-at-Home” Vegan Pizza

As the selection of frozen plant-based pizzas in US supermarkets steadily grows, one company is thrilling fans with its brand of locally-made, handcrafted pies produced in the city of Richmond, Virginia.

Newly developed cheese

Launched in 2023, Udderless is a homegrown brand that specializes in gourmet vegan frozen pizzas made with its own recipe of dairy-free cashew-based cheese. But the brand’s owners didn’t originally set out to start a frozen pizza company. After opening his own restaurant, The Hop Craft Pizza & Beer in 2018, founder Evan Byrne began offering plant-based pizza options made with vegan cheese from a local startup called Unmoofoods.

However, as the demand for the pizzas grew, Unmoofoods unexpectedly shuttered its doors, leaving Byrne to seek out another suitable cheese alternative.

Vegan frozen pizzas in store

“I just started experimenting and trying to figure out a cashew-based cheese,” Byrne told Richmond Biz Journals. “I ordered stuff off Amazon and did research online. It took me like two years to get something that we thought was passable. Then it started getting really good.”

Byrne originally intended to sell his cheese as an individual product, but realized what his customers truly desired was pizza, leading him to launch the Udderless brand in early 2023.

Local and handmade

Udderless bake-at-home pizzas are handmade and come in several varieties: Classic Cheese, Vegan Pepperoni, a Greek variety with kalamata olives, red onion, baby spinach and tomatoes, and Jalapeno-Pineapple. Recently, Udderless also added a Roasted Squash and Zucchini vegan lasagna to its lineup.

The company notes all of the pizzas are handmade at Byrne’s restaurant in Richmond, which is able to produce 200-250 pizzas a week. The products are currently sold at a growing number of local and independent grocers in and around Richmond, including Stella’s Market, Union Market, Good Foods Grocery and Ellwood Thompson’s. 

Vegan lasagna by Udderless

Udderless is not seeking funding yet, says Bryne, because they are still in early launch phases and testing consumer feedback. But he is optimistic about the brand’s future expansion. “At some point we would like to grow it, but I’m not sure,” shared Byrne.“It’s really early on and, I’m not sure we are ready for it. I would like to be in a big store.”

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