It’s a nondescript August afternoon in the sleepy North County beach town of Encinitas. On the city’s main street, a handful of surfers plod across the 101, but there’s not much else brewing in town -- that is, except for the line of cars pouring out of a newly finished lot on Santa Fe Drive. Bumper-to-bumper traffic lines up to the I-5 off-ramp, and a growing crowd of pedestrians spills out of the lot and begins to wrap around the block. It would be one thing if this mass of people was gathered because Pope’s in town, but the reality is even more remarkable: they’re lined up for a vegan fast food burger.
“Yeah, we never imagined it would be like that,” Zach Vouga, the co-founder of Plant Power, told Thrillist about the vegan burger joint’s success since opening in 2017. “I’ve never seen such an intense demand for something. We were slammed hour-in, hour-out, every day once we opened our doors.”
The Encinitas location is the second Plant Power to come to the San Diego area, with the first spot landing in Ocean Beach in 2016 -- and in Vouga’s vision, it won’t be the last. The goal is to open 10 new Plant Power franchises in the next one-to-three years, up and down the California coast, with locations set to open in Redlands and Long Beach later this year.