In this episode, I speak with the founders of Next Level Burger, Matt and Cierra de Gruyter.
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About Matt and Cierra de Gruyter
The husband and wife duo-team of Cierra and Matt de Gruyter are the co-founders of Next Level Burger (NLB) – America’s first 100 percent plant-based burger joint founded in Bend, Oregon in 2014. Together, Cierra and Matt oversee the entire operation of the restaurant’s standing locations, in addition to driving the brand’s expansion and overseeing new store openings.
The couple then began their journey as restauranteurs when they found themselves wishing for a healthy, sustainable and delicious eatery they could enjoy with their kids and the whole family. And so, the burger revolution began, and Cierra and Matt set out on a mission to spread plant-based goodness, nationwide.
Today their dream has become a reality with NLB’s ever-expanding demand and 100 percent plant-based, mouthwatering American dishes. NLB has grown from its original Bend location, the current NLB portfolio includes two additional Oregon locations in Portland and Lake Oswego, as well as a Seattle location and its first California location that opened in Concord this December. NLB’s first East Coast location is slated to open in Fort Greene, Brooklyn on January 31, 2018. The fast-growing reinvented burger joint is undergoing national expansion with many additional stores underway.
Why You Should Listen
I caught up with Matt and Cierra while they were in New York for their grand opening and they were kind enough to share their time and insights with me. This is by far one of the most fun interviews I’ve had the pleasure of doing, not only are Matt and Cierra incredibly charming, but their passion for bringing healthy, affordable plant-based food to the world is so clear and inspiring.
Listen in to hear:
- How Cierra convinced Matt to ditch his career in oil and gas to start a 100% plant-based restaurant.
- Find out how a former employee of pioneer social media platform helped them expand their business.
- Learn how they managed to snag a deal with Whole Foods to further the expansion of their chain.
- A whole lot of talk about their jaw-on-the-floor delicious burgers, including one that is a double-decker sausage patty with bacon, fries, sauteed onions, and barbecue sauce, aptly called “The Animal.”
People/Companies/Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Next Level Burger
- Next Level Burger Instagram
- Whole Foods 365
- John Mackey
- The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone
- The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
- Things a Litte Birdy Told Me by Biz Stone
- Alex Payne
- Jeff Bezos
- Amazon acquires Whole Foods
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