Miyoko Schinner has been making vegan cheese and butter for 30 years, but her creations have only recently become a real hit.
Schinner began teaching cooking classes and hosting a cooking show almost four decades ago. After promoting her fourth cookbook, which featured cheese made from cashews, she launched Miyoko’s Creamery in 2014.
“At the time, there was no good vegan food available,” says CEO Schinner, a Japanese immigrant who lives in an animal sanctuary in Marin County, western California, on land grazed by some 70 creatures like cows and donkeys. “I was a real foodie. I was determined to make delicious, healthy, vegan food.
His brand now sells alternatives to butter, cream cheese and mozzarella, as well as other dairy-free products made from nuts, oats and legumes at 20,000 stores, including Walmart and Target. Estimated 12-month earnings doubled to over $ 30 million as more buyers turned to plant-based foods.
“Covid-19 came in and forced us to pivot,” the 63-year-old said, describing her company’s recent push to sell online and ship direct to customers, after focusing on grocery stores and retailers. menu collaborations with restaurant chains. “Demand for our products has reached an all time high. “
Schinner now employs some 170 workers and has raised $ 23 million, according to Pitchbook, with the last $ 11 million round of early 2019 continuing to propel Miyoko’s Creamery to the forefront of this still nascent industry.
“I had an alternative meat business in the 1990s. It was hard to find investors,” says Schinner. “Now they’re just lining up at the door to throw money at the plant-based businesses. People are starting to see that this is the future.