Wealthy and elite celebrities like Jay-Z and Rihanna have been dropping some serious investments into the vegan food industry.
In terms of plant-based companies, music mogul Jay-Z has invested into Impossible Foods, Oatly, Simulate, Misha’s Kind Foods, according to various outlets. Both music giants, along with singer H.E.R., also invested into Partake Foods, a Black-owned vegan cookie brand backed by Jay’s Venture Capital Fund Marcy Venture Partners. Rihanna also owns a vegan-friendly lingerie line, SavagexFenty, and two fully vegan brands, Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin.
And now Kevin Hart wants his turn to shake up the plant-based food industry. The multi-hyphenate comedian and actor can now add restaurant owner to his résumé after revealing plans to open a restaurant, Hart House, earlier this month.
“I am THRILLED to announce that I have collaborated with an All-Star team of partners and industry leaders to create an industry-changing restaurant call “Hart House” (@MyHartHouse)! This thing is going to be HUGE!” Hart announced on Instagram.
“We’re going to serve delicious, sustainable food, that delivers ‘Can’t-Believe-It’ Flavor in every bite!!!” he continued. “We’ll be opening our first few locations in the LA area, but we will be expanding quickly. Stay tuned for more!! #HartHouse #EatYourHartOut.”
Hart House is expected to open later this summer, as one of the most-talked about plant-forward restaurants in Los Angeles. Their menu consists of vegan and planet-based burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, nuggets, fries, tots and milkshakes free of antibiotics, hormones, artificial colors, preservatives, or corn syrup.
According to LA Magazine, the comedian partnered with CEO of Global E-commerce Andy Hooper and chef Michael Salem to bring consumers tasty fast food and offer high-quality jobs.
Hooper claims he advised the “Think Like A Man” star not to open a restaurant “in the middle of COVID.” He said, “But after almost two years of really working on this menu and getting the food to a place where it can deliver on that promise, we’re ready to go and we’re excited to tell the world about Hart House and excited to serve the food.”
He hopes consumers will appreciate Hart House’s “crave-able” curated menu that just “happens to be plant-based, and that happens to be his idea.”
Salem served as the former head of culinary innovation at Burger King. He told the outlet he was responsible for “pioneering” the company’s plant-based burger called “The Impossible Burger.”
“I got the call, and I couldn’t believe it at first. It was so surreal,” he explained. “I thought I was being punk’d, and then I had a chance to actually meet Kevin, talk about his vision for what he wanted to create, and having pioneered bringing plant-based into mainstream QSR with Burger King, with the Impossible Whopper, I saw a tremendous opportunity to take a lot of that momentum, that success that we had with that product previously and in that environment, why couldn’t we recreate and reinvent fast food.”
Hart picked a unique time to join the plant-based food industry, which has increased mainstream interest over the last few years. Last year, tennis legend Venus Williams became the face of the online plant-based, vegan marketplace, PlantX. She also founded Happy Viking Protein, which sells vegan protein shakes.
Bloomberg reports that rapper Drake, who has said he’s a vegetarian, invested in the plant-based chicken company Daring Foods as part of a $40 million funding round. The outlet revealed that celebrities and entertainers are also investing into the global plant-based chicken category, which is projected to reach $8 billion by 2030, according to an estimate from Future Market Insights.
But Atlanta entrepreneur Pinky Cole was ahead of the game in 2018 — the year she opened her restaurant Slutty Vegan. It’s become one of the fastest-growing plant-based food chains, feeding Georgia with five locations. The entrepreneur plans to expand into markets in New York, Alabama, North Carolina, and other states. Cole recently raised $25 million for her successful black-owned company, ascending its price value to $100 million.