Vegitalian – the hugely popular foodconcept – opened in the autumn of 2023 its doors in Amsterdam. In 2024 a branche will open in Rotterdam. The prize-winning entrepreneurs behind the vegetarian and plant-based casual dining company from Utrecht have joined arms with the impact investors of V-SQUARE. Their aim is to expand the restaurant, catering and delivery chain in the Netherlands and beyond. Sandenburg-DST is helping the Vegitalian team with the further development of the concept, design and implementation.
Vegitalian opened its doors on October 10th in the west of Amsterdam. Here guests can gather for breakfast, a cup of coffee, lunch, drinks, and diner. The restaurant also has a pizzabar, deli, catering and meeting space. All dishes are vegetarian or plant-based. The basic ingredients consist of fresh, healthy and locally sourced produce. Varying from sour dough sandwiches, wraps, colourful bowls, (glutenfree) pasta dishes and of course pizzas. ‘We want to convince the audience that it is high time to change our eating habits’, co-owner Joep van den Besselaar confessed in a local newspaper. ‘We are a completely integrated concept: Vegitalian is there where and when you want to enjoy our food. Companies who are craving for tasty and sustainable vegan or vegetarian catering can call us. We want to make the offer as accessible, easy, and festive as possible to help people to make a positive impact on the planet, people and animal welfare. Our mission is to contribute to make a conscious choice as attractive as possible for the mass market.’
The philosophy of Vegitalian
For the design of the restaurant in Amsterdam co-owner Sippien Baarsma and her sister Sita joined forces with the designteam of Sandenburg-DST to address the challenge to give the large dining space with 150 seats a cosy appearance. Creating small corners, alcoves and casual rooms. On arrival the colorful wallpaper appeals to the senses. It creates a modern Mediterranean atmosphere in combination with the wooden herringbone floor, citrus trees and warmly illuminated wooden cupboards behind the bar.
Vegitalian was founded by Sippien Baarsma, Wichert van Rijn (Streetfoodclub Breda/Utrecht, Carmel Market, Rum Club) and hospitality entrepreneur Joep van den Bersselaar. Their philosophy is to bridge the gap between affordable good food, creativity and hostmanship with sustainability and health. Two years ago, the first restaurant in Utrecht was an instant hit amongst a young audience between 20 and 45 years of age. In 2022 the Vegitalian team opened a pizzabar. The ambition of the founders is to grow the startup company over the next couple of years in The Netherlands and abroad.
Investor V-SQUARE describes itself as the growth engine for plantbased restaurants and delivery services. Their mission is to enhance the protein transition by making healthy and sustainable food everywhere easily available. At the same time the company wants to tempt as many people as possible to change their eating habits. The entrepreneurs behind V-SQUARE have in-depth knowledge of the marketing and experience with hospitality, management, system catering and international growth strategies. The team consists of Felix Hillen (The Social Hub), Lucas Rijckmans, Markus Konings (Sandenburg-DST) and Arjan Witteveen. They view Vegitalian as a growth company; with professional advice and smart growth capital it can grow to become a scale-up foodbrand with tens of branches in Europe.
“Vegitalian is not your typical restaurant. Together with our creative and ambitious team we keep on building the concept. At the end of 2023 we will launch an inspirational online platform sharing surprising vegetarian and plant-based recipes and tips about sustainability and healthy food.’’
Sippien Baarsma, co-owner Vegitalian.
Core qualities of Vegitalian
Markus Koning, ceo Sandenburg-DST: “Vegitalian is on top of the food trends and the spirit of the times to accelerate the revolution of plant-based food. The casual dining concept changes the market due to 7 core qualities: strongly motivated entrepreneurs, a very attractive proposition, the focus on the highest quality, the prospect of expanding in Europe, a tastful interior design, the Italian lifestyle and community feeling, and great staff offering every day a perfect customer experience. Vegitalian is a gamechanger which will inspire consumers.”
The concept is nominated for the Dutch hospitality Entree Awards 2023 in the category Best New Scale Up Concept. The winner is announced on November 27th.