Ever heard of a vegetarian “butcher shop?” In places like YamChops, an awesome new shop that just opened this week in Toronto, there’s not a piece of animal meat to be found! Here, you can find “ba-con” made from coconut, “no pork” made from cabbage, and “lox” made from carrots — that’s right, not a shred of animal product to be found here! Check out their store!

YamChops is the creation of Michael Abramson. He recently sold his advertising business to start YamChops with the help of his family. On what inspired him to open this new shop and the journey to the store’s opening, Abramson tells One Green Planet: “My wife and I owned an advertising agency for 27 years. We sold it a couple of years ago so I could pursue my passion for plant-based foods. A lot of people say it’s a bit of an oxymoron, calling ourselves a butcher shop when we actually serve vegetarian and vegan food. But we believe that we can offer plant-based protein as a staple in anybody’s diet – vegetarian, vegan and – probably our largest market: the flexitarian, or those people that are trying to reduce their meat consumption.”  Here’s a sneak peek into their “butcher counter” — as you can see, lots of tofu but no animal carcass!

According to The Star, Abramson had been vegetarian for nearly 40 years. And this truly is a family affair: “His flexitarian wife Toni Abramson takes care of guests and chef Raine Laing runs the kitchen. Their flexitarian daughter Jess Abramson is the juiceologist behind YamChop’s AuJus organic, raw, cold-pressed juice line. A second daughter, Leya Abramson-Witz, is vegetarian and handles social media.”

Abramson has big plans for the future: “My dream is to establish vegetarian and vegan food as cuisines in their own rite – just as Japanese, Thai, Korean, etc. have become ‘eating out’ destinations, so should vegetarian/vegan. We want people to go out for ‘vegetarian’ just as they do for Italian or Chinese.”

So far, the response to YamChops has been overwhelmingly positive, Abramson says. Just look at the opening day!

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of customers who’ve come in and told us they’ve been waiting for us to open, or who’ve crossed the city just to see what we’re all about,” Abramson says. “The best part is when they try our butcher counter items – like our Mongolian No-Beef Beef or our Tuna-Less Tuna Salad or our No Pork Pulled Pork – the surprise and delight is palpable.”

Let’s hear it for awesome businesses paving the way for a meatless world! We wish YamChops the best and are totally jealous of Toronto residents. Let’s get one of these here, U.S. Green Monsters!

Lead image source: YamChops