Atlas Monroe, a vegan fried chicken company, has teamed up with vegan chain Copper Branch to provide a Nashville Vegan Fried Chicken Sandwich at over 40 locations across Canada and the United States. The sandwich, which has Atlas Monroe vegan fried chicken that has been seasoned and breaded, garlic aioli, lettuce, sriracha slaw, and pickles, was originally a limited-time offer that constantly sold out across North America. Because of its popularity, the sandwich has become a regular menu item in Copper Branch locations in the United States, with plans to expand to Canada soon.
“This is happy news because vegans can get a gourmet extra crispy Nashville-style, Atlas Monroe fried chick’n sandwich and not have to worry about cross contamination or it being fried in non-vegan oil if that is something they are concerned about (and many are)… This is also especially newsworthy in the vegan community because we are the first Black and woman-owned company to be carried at an international all-vegan chain and we couldn’t be prouder of how far we have come,” stated Atlas Monroe founder Deborah Torres.
After Torres entered the Plant Powered Glow Up contest, a first-of-its-kind initiative through Vegan Women Summit, which invited women business creators to propose their plant-based goods, Atlas Monroe and Copper Branch teamed up. By providing the winner a food-service contract with Copper Branch, the idea was to help women entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level. Atlas Monroe was chosen for the cooperation from hundreds of submissions.
“When we launched our search to find the next great plant-based product with Copper Branch, it was important to us to not only find an incredible product, but to find an incredible founder, too. When Deborah applied with Atlas Monroe, we knew we had found the perfect match… Deborah’s story of bootstrapping her company and her drive to succeed is exactly the type of brand we focus on empowering at Vegan Women Summit… We’re thrilled—and not surprised—to see the launch selling out across North America and have much more planned with both Copper Branch and the Atlas Monroe team,” said Jennifer Stojkovic, founder of Vegan Women Summit.
The Best Dish: Vegan Fried Chicken
Torres founded Atlas Monroe in 2017 to support her father’s health after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and to offer healthier vegan meat products for the general public. Despite the fact that Copper Branch is the company’s largest collaboration to date, it joins a growing list of restaurants that now offer Atlas Monroe goods, including Pure Soul and Magpie’s in Sacramento, CA; Loving Hut in San Diego, CA; and Rootz Soul Cafe in North Lauderdale, FL. Atlas Monroe has a large international following, including Jermain Dupri, Tabitha Brown, and Jay Versace, among others.
Extra Crispy editor-in-chief Ryan Grim called the company’s wheat-based Cajun Fried Chicken and Waffles the best dish he had at the National Fried Chicken Festival in New Orleans, LA, in 2018.
Torres proposed her company on the reality investing show Shark Tank the next year, and investors Mark Cuban and Rohan Oza offered her a $1 million transaction in exchange for 100 percent ownership. Torres eventually determined that handing away the brand was not worth $1 million, which she thought the company could generate on its own. Torres said on the show, “The fact you guys are even offering a million dollars lets me know you do understand what we are worth.”
Following Shark Tank
Following Torres’ determination on Shark Tank, Atlas Monroe now has a multimillion-dollar manufacturing plant in San Diego, CA, and ships out more than 20,000 pieces of vegan fried chicken each week. In addition to vegan apple wood-fired ribs, deep-fried and stuffed turkey, and Philly Cheesesteak beef, Atlas Monroe provides 32 more items.
After extensive research and development, Altas Monroe 2.0 introduced three game-changing new chicken items: all “white white” super crispy fried chicken breast, strips, and grilled chicken. “This new chick’n has a firm breast-like texture and is moist and bursting with flavor while still winning on providing an unparalleled extra crispy coating that we are renowned for,” Torres stated.
Torres says that Atlas Monroe will soon be available in two large grocery chains, and that she hopes to create a flagship store in a big city in the near future because she has received so many requests to open restaurants across the country.
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