We are so excited to introduce a new Byppo favorite. People don't often associate flavor with vegan food, but Plantology will have you second guessing wether or not you're actually eating vegan food. Plantology hopes to show people that plant-based foods are not just good for you, but they are also hoping to inspire people to think more about their food choices. Head downtown to Midpoint Park & Eatery with the family to enjoy some outdoor vegan bites and relax under covered seating.
Vegan and plant based diets are becoming increasingly popular, even amongst the non vegan. We sat down with Ryan Strandjord, the co-owner of Plantology, to learn more about this popular Gainesville eatery.
Interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity
How did you get into this business?
I originally started wanting to do film and tell visual stories. I actually turned down a job in film to help open the first vegan butcher shop in the country. I became a vegan after working in the food space, and understanding food and where it comes from.
From there, I partnered with a vegan food truck out of Jacksonville who was transitioning into a restaurant. It taught me how to run a restaurant, work in a kitchen, and build kitchen teams.
How long have you been a vegan?
I’ve been a vegan for almost 7 years.
What motivates you?
Connecting with people and building community. I find it extremely rewarding when I’m able to help people make healthy changes to better their health without them feeling like their losing a whole lot.
How do you get people to try vegan food who are new to it?
I meet people where they’re at in their own journey. We talk about their health how vegan food can help people feel better. It’s a learning process for everyone.
How did you come up with the items on your menu?
A lot of my inspiration and ideas came from working with the restaurant in Jacksonville. Everything on the menu is stuff that we like and eat. We make really good food.
All of our produce is organic and we make all of our food.
Nature. I enjoy connecting to nature and Gainesville is surrounded by greenery. I love that you can drive a few minutes outside of town and be in the middle of nowhere. I also did a ton of research on where veganism is trending and believe it or not, Gainesville was at the top of the list.
What has been your biggest challenge opening and running your business?
I thought it was going to be staffing, but fortunately I have a great staff who all stand behind the food we put out and like working here. The biggest challenge would have to be the supply chain, Gainesville is a bit more isolated than other locations. The flow of goods and materials was a little bit tricky. As we grow we are also learning how to work in a smaller space.
How long have you been open?
We are entering our fourth month of being open.
Do you have future plans for Plantology?
Our main goal would be to get on UF Campus though pop-ups. This could also lead to a more permeant spot on campus and would open the door to the possibility of partnering with other campuses across the country. I would rather go this way than go the brick and mortar route.
Plantology is conveniently located in the Midpoint Park and Eatery downtown. We highly recommend the Deluxe Burger or the Bacun Chedda Loaded Fries.