Plant-based pizza in Richmond, VA


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. …


Aurapea chickpea meat in pan


Investments & Finance

AuraPea Raises $1.5M For Chickpea-Based Meat, Plans Expansion Into Europe & Asia

AuraPea is a new Richmond, VA  company pioneering clean-ingredient alternative meats using the brand’s novel chickpea base, known as Auratein.  Founded by Ben Pasternak in early 2021, AuraPea succeeded in raising $1.5 million from investors to lead a “new frontier” of food innovation in Richmond and the Mid-Atlantic region, according to the Washington Business Journal.  Free of common fillers  Unlike most plant-based meats on the market, AuraPea completely excludes the use of fillers and emulsifiers, such as methlycellulose, to bind plant proteins together. Instead, as Pasternak explains, AuraPea utilizes a patented process that transforms chickpea’s protein while fully maintaining its binding structure and capabilities. This preservation of functionality, Pasternak says, allows the protein to naturally bind without the use of added fillers.  AuraPea’s product line …



©Plant Based Foods Association


Plant Based Foods Association Calls on Virginia Governor to Reject Proposed Ban on Plant-Based Labeling

In a press release published by the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), its Executive Director, Michele Simon, calls on Virginia Governor Northam to put consumers first and reject House Bill 119. According to Simon’s statement, the state’s bill will unfairly and unconstitutionally limit the ability of plant-based food companies to truthfully and accurately label their foods. HB119 will ban the use of the word “milk” on plant-based alternatives in the Commonwealth of Virginia.