Vegetarian Burger Company Plants Roots In Oakland

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — It’s been called the most “real” tasting vegetarian hamburger yet, and pretty soon, Impossible Foods will be making its patties in Oakland.

The Redwood City-based maker of a juicy, 100-percent plant-based burger that “bleeds” served some up burgers Wednesday at the location of its new factory near the Oakland Coliseum.

Company founder Patrick Brown says the site has a lot going for it. For one thing, they didn’t have to start from scratch.

“Ten years ago, it was a bakery for Just Desserts,” explained Brown.

He says the Bay Area’s work force should be a good fit. The company is looking to hire 80 workers.

“There’s a very well developed work force of skilled workers that know how to work in the food industry,” said Brown.

“To see manufacturing coming back into this city is so aligned with our legacy,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. According to Schaaf, food and beverage manufacturing is having something of a renaissance in Oakland.

Ocho Chocolate, Revolution Foods and Blue Bottle Coffee were some of the companies the mayor mentioned as having set up shop in Oakland. And she is hoping more will come.

“We have one of the purest public water supplies of any city in the country, and we’re close to Silicon Valley,” said Schaaf.

Impossible Foods founder Brown told KPIX 5 it’s not just about jobs; it’s also about saving the planet.

“I think of it kind of the birthplace of a whole new industry that’s going to transform the global food system,” said Brown.

And the company says right now there is a growing appetite for the meat substitute. Impossible Foods projects their burger will be on the menu in more than 1,000 restaurants within a year.

They hope to be producing the patties at the Oakland facility by the end of the summer.

More from Julie Watts
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