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Disrupting the status quo: A 100% plant-based deli has opened in Kelowna

Kelowna’s Lakeshore Road is now home to a 100% plant-based deli.

New Course Cuisine Deli Plus has been open since May 19, and its grand opening celebration was hosted on June 9 and 10.

Stuart Rosove, the founder of New Course Cuisine, and Mike Huget, the president and COO of Deli Plus, have launched the business with the intention to “disrupt the status quo.”

“Plant-based is for everyone,” Rosove says. “We want people to come in and have the same familiar old-school deli-style experience, buying cheese by the pound and meat by the gram.”

The storefront also offers fresh sandwiches, salads and frozen meals, including pizza.

“We believe Kelowna, which happens to be our beautiful home, is a wonderful test market because of the growth that we’re seeing,” Rosove explains.

“Should this go well, we have high aspirations to open up not just throughout Canada, but in the US as well, and create a complete network of retail delis.”

Two years ago, Rosove started his plant-based journey for preventative health reasons.

“I was missing salami, pepperoni and pastrami, so I decided to go on a mission to find what I considered true plant-based deli, and through this, I was blessed to meet some of the world’s best chefs,” Rosove explains.

One of those chefs is the award-winning Mark Reinfeld, who has been involved in New Course Cuisine and hosts virtual vegan culinary programs.

New Course Cuisine is an online wholesaler for plant-based products that have gone through a certification process that Rosove helped create.

Before any products are sampled by the culinary experts on the New Course Cuisine Standard of Excellence panel, they must pass an “enormous” list of banned ingredients.

The culinary team also helps restaurants and food service venues create plant-based menu options with New Course Cuisine products, and they provide catering.

When Huget, who has been in the food service industry for over 20 years, became a customer of New Course Cuisine earlier this year, he and Rosove decided to team up to launch the Deli Plus storefront.

“I love the cooking aspect, getting in the kitchen and creating good flavours, because at the end of the day, we all have to eat,” Huget says. “We're going to tick those boxes.”

Prior to the Deli Plus innovation, Huget gained experience as a regional operations manager with McDonald’s and as the CEO of The Vegetarian Butcher. In addition, he has been plant-based for four years.

It’s important to Huget to offer the greatest quality plant-based experience to help eliminate the stigma that comes along with the term “vegan.”

“We have had some people come into the store who haven’t experienced anything plant-based, and one woman was extremely nervous to try it,” Huget explains, adding that she didn't go home empty-handed.

“Don’t be afraid, and sample before you buy.”

Those interested in trying the plant-based products can stop by the storefront, where all the art featured was created by a local artist.

Deli Plus is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm, and customers can sign up for a New Course Cuisine Connoisseur Club membership.

For each sandwich sold during the grand opening celebration, $1 will be donated to the KGH Foundation.

All products will be offered at a discounted price on June 9 and 10.

“Come hungry," Huget adds. "It’ll taste great.”

Deli Plus is located at 103-3957 Lakeshore Rd.

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