Planted Table: A Sustainable Way to Deliver Delicious Vegan Meals

Sisters Lauren Mahlke and Megan Scott wanted to make it easier for families to eat plant-based food, and it was important to them to do it sustainably. So they launched Planted Table, a zero-waste, vegan meal-delivery service — one of the first of its kind to use glass containers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their WordPress website is the hub of their business, which now serves over 200 local families.

After experiencing health issues all her life, Megan experimented with a plant-based diet to see if she found a difference in how she felt. After two weeks, she felt better than she had in years and decided to cut out animal products completely.

The changes in her health were dramatic: her acne cleared up, her constipation disappeared, her energy returned. Her choice to go vegan was at first health-focused, but after learning more about the environmental aspects of eating animals, it also became an ethical one. Her sister Lauren eventually switched to plant-based eating as well after researching the processes of the meat industry — and made major changes in her life as a professional chef. “If you would have told me a few years ago I would be cooking only vegan food in my professional and personal life I would have laughed so hard and walked back to braising,” Lauren writes on their Our Story page.

I’m a busy mom. I wanted ready-to-eat plant-based meals and there wasn’t anything out there yet.

Megan and Lauren wanted to make it easier for other families to incorporate vegan dishes into their busy week — and to show that these meals could be tasty. “I used to have friends over that aren’t vegan and Lauren would cook us some meals and they would say to me over and over, ‘if I could eat your sister’s cooking all the time I would totally eat plant-based.’ Her food is amazing,” says Megan.

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So they picked a business name and bought their domain. “We called it Planted Table because we thought this is the kind of food you’ll put on your table and share with your friends and family.” They searched for a kitchen where Lauren and her team could cook and prepare meals, and they now work out of a beautiful airy space at Jack London Square in Oakland called the Planted Table Kitchen. They also use this location for events — people in the area can swing by their weekly Thursday pop-up to buy meals without a subscription, and can also rent the space for private events.

Sampling dishes at the Planted Table Kitchen at 550 2nd Street, Oakland. Photo by Drew Bird.

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“Our website is 100 percent responsible for allowing us to gain new customers,” says Megan. “It’s where they go to learn all about the company, the process.” Planted Table’s website provides information about their meal plans and their current and following week’s menus. They’ve also launched a blog with insights on why a plant-based diet is good for your health, for animals, and for our environment, as well as tips and recipes. (Their vegan pesto recipe is very popular!)

They use essential features to promote their business and generate leads, from a rotating showcase of customer testimonials on their Meal Plans page to a contact form on their Contact Us page.

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In the footer, you can also subscribe to the Planted Table newsletter, find their social profiles and offline contact information, and get a glimpse of their Instagram feed. “It just makes it really easy for someone who’s not an expert on website design to go in and run my own website as a small business owner,” says Megan.

Photo by Drew Bird.

What’s next on the table for this growing Bay Area business? “We would like to be able to grow our online presence, offering more recipes and great content for those looking for a more plant-based lifestyle,” says Megan. In addition to their core meal subscription service and event catering, they hope to someday offer their delivery service beyond the Bay Area. Until then, explore and try some recipes to bring chef Lauren’s dishes to your table.

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December 18, 2019Business, Food, Inspiration, Recipes