This Toronto Cheese Master Makes Vegan Brie That’s Just Like the Real Thing

Canadian vegan company Future of Cheese sold its plant-based Ripened Brie in less than 24 hours since its recent pre-sale launch. Vegan cashew-based cheese is a plant-based version of traditional matured brie that ages naturally and has a delicate, ripe rind.

Future of Cheese was co-founded in 2020 by businesswoman Jen Wojtaszek, Chef Craig Harding and Maître Fromager (cheese master) Afrim Pristine with a mission to create vegan dairy alternatives using nutritious and natural ingredients without gums or starches and using an aging process and manufacturing. Harding is an acclaimed chef in Toronto, ON, and Pristine is the owner of Toronto’s Cheese Boutique with 24 years of experience in traditional cheese making. Together, they are creating sustainable vegan cheeses through Future of Cheese.

“Our products are created by experts (Harding and Pristine) who have spent their entire lives mastering the art of cheese making and perfecting the culinary mastery of the world’s best,” Wojtaszek told VegNews. “While we keep our upcoming products confidential, we may disclose that our focus is developing variations of plant-based dairy products that have traditionally been in high demand from consumers, such as mozzarella.”

Before creating their Ripened Brie, Future of Cheese’s first release was a Future of Butter cultured product line that includes varieties of salted and unsalted vegan butter made from a combination of coconut oil, cashew nuts, and sunflower oil.

Vegan brie and the future of cheese

Although Future of Cheese is less than two years old, earlier this year the company was acquired by Canadian-based independent organic grocer Organic Garage in a transaction valued at more than $ 6 million (US $ 4.7 million). As a subsidiary of Organic Garage, Future of Cheese will make use of the chain’s established distribution network and high-profile marketing channels.

“We chose to acquire Future of Cheese due to the continued focus on plant-based foods, not just customer trends, but financial markets as well,” Organic Garage President Matt Lurie told VegNews. “As a publicly traded company, it is our job to seek opportunities to provide greater shareholder value, and with the product quality and management team behind Future of Cheese, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.”VegNews.FutureofVeganCheeseBrie1

Increased demand for vegan brie

Although mature Brie is currently retailed in approximately 20 stores in Toronto, restaurants and bakeries also use the retail packaged product. The adoption of its butter and brie cheese by chefs and restaurateurs happened faster than anticipated: A growing list of highly-regarded restaurants, including Toronto’s Piano Piano, Gia, La Palma and Constantine restaurants, have already incorporated the products into New and existing menu offerings. In 2022, Future of Cheese anticipates that it will sign with a co-packer so they can increase production and offer a larger food service-style size of their matured Brie.

“The retail response is even better than anticipated. Selling our first cycle of production without incurring lost product costs is as successful as it is in CPG’s business, ”said Wojtaszek. “We are currently ramping up production of all of our current products in anticipation of the holiday season, accelerated in part by increased interest from new retailers and potentially high-profile foodservice and restaurant associations.”

For more information on vegan cheese, read:
The makers of BabyBel Cheese have just launched six new vegan cheeses
General Mills’ First Vegan Cheese is Made with Animal-Free Buttermilk
Miyoko’s Creamery Just Released Kid-Friendly Vegan Cheese Sticks

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