This weekend, a new type of shopping and dining experience will open in Plano. Viridescent Kitchen will showcase the work and products of vegan chefs, designers and creatives and offer an inclusive, diverse environment.
Viridescent Kitchen is the work of Gabrielle Reyes, a vegan online cooking show host and Laura Thornthwaite, the owner of a nut butter company. Thornthwaite first discovered Reyes on YouTube and Instagram.
"She reached out to me," Reyes recalls, "and said ‘Hey, I have this dope space, it’s a clean new kitchen, and we can put something in it. Do you want a restaurant?’ and I was like ‘No, I don’t want a restaurant, I want a cooking show. But, what I do want to do is create a space where vegan businesses can thrive.’ So ultimately, what ended up happening was we came together and came up with this cool idea, where we have vegan businesses, vegan chefs, vegan clothing companies, a grocery story; basically a bunch of vegan companies coming together to have their own brick and mortar space.”
While most of the vendors in Viridescent Kitchen usually sell their products during pop-up events, the storefront will allow these vendors to make sales on a more stable, frequent schedule. The on-site grocery store and coffee shop will be constant, however, Viridescent Kitchen will rotate food and clothing vendors throughout the week. There will also be rotating chefs from Monday through Sunday.
Viridescent Kitchen will also host events like fitness classes, open mic nights, cooking classes, wine and cheese pairings and Sunday brunch.
“Basically, you as a customer come here, and everything will be completely different," Reyes says. "We’re creating a space where people who want to eat healthier and go greener will be able to thrive.”
At Viridescent Kitchen, every meal is 100 percent plant-based and cruelty-free and the products sold are environmentally sustainable. There will be no styrofoam for carry-out orders and guests are encouraged to bring their own grocery bags.
Reyes herself has been a vegan since 2011. Rather than slowly transitioning into veganism, Reyes opted to immediately give up animal products. She recalls immediately feeling healthier after making this choice.
"As many women have, and men as well, I struggled with bulimia, anorexia and body dysmorphia for a good portion of my teenage and young adult years, Reyes says, "Honestly, I just saw the word ‘veganism’ one day, and I had no idea what it meant or where it would take me, but it sounded like a good idea."
Reyes believes that her decision to go vegan is one of the best of her life, noting that it gave her a new perspective on the world around her.
“It was like, an awakening," Reyes says. "It was wild. “The first thing is, of course, you feel better. I don’t tell everybody that they have to be vegan, but I tell everybody that they have to eat more plants. I think that’s something we can all agree on. When you’re putting in all of those colorful, nutrient-dense food, you’re going to feel better and look better. I’m telling you, the glo-up is real."
With Viridescent Kitchen, Reyes and Thronthwaite hope to cultivate a diverse, inclusive space. The market is women-owned and women built, with most of the employees and vendors being women or people of color.
“We’re incredibly proud of the fact that we’re not only building a vegan community, but we’re building an equal community," Reyes says, "where people can come in here and see any race, any gender, any sexuality and any religion. This is a green place, a place of love, of greenery and of giving back to the earth.”
Viridescent Kitchen will open Saturday, July 27 at 10:30 a.m.
5760 State Highway 121 #140, Plano
- Monday – Friday: 6:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
- Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
- Sunday: 8 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.