Because Orchard Grocer is a small business, all the products are small-batch, made fresh, mostly organic, mostly local, and palm oil-free, making the menu offerings healthier than bigger businesses producing vegan food en masse, like by CHLOE.
To develop the recipes, Carlton tested various vegetables and other ingredients that would not only re-create the appearance and texture of their animal-made counterparts (smoked salmon’s spongy texture was eventually made from carrots soaked in aquafaba, the juice drained from chickpeas), but would also evoke the feelings associated with standby comfort foods.
“There’s a reason why lox and bagels and pastrami are so popular,” Carlton says. “It’s the feeling. I know that our lox doesn’t taste like salmon, but it has a lot of the same textures and looks, and it gives you the experience of eating a bagel with lox.”