Charles White, the chef/co-owner of the all vegan Cozy Plum, explained that naming the restaurant was easy. “Cozy Plum comes from ‘Comfort Food’, and the Cozy Plums are the customers. It may sound a little cutesy but the whole idea is that we want the customers to end up feeling full, plump, and round with rosy cheeks… the result of a delicious meal.”
What gives the customers this cozy feeling every time they eat there? The menu items of course! Cozy Plum’s menu features vegan dishes ranging from stuffed jalapeños, gourmet pizza, and even soy-chicken drumsticks. White admitted, “This is going to sound a little shocking but a lot of my inspiration for our dishes came from the junk food I used to eat in my past – the very same Standard American Diet that I was desperate to get away from. But, by emulating popular and familiar comfort foods, we’re able to offer a pleasant transition into more mindful eating”.
Other popular items prepared by White include the Cozy Crunch, the BBQ Cheddar Burger, and the Taco Ensalada. “We knew that we couldn’t seduce a meat eater with kale, so we had to give people vegan versions of meat”, explained White. “It’s about bringing foods that appeal to the masses, rather than the typical ‘health food’, widely perceived as bland and without culinary authority, that will drive the future of Cozy Plum. The future is going to be growth” White proclaimed.
“We’re opening our second restaurant in Sebastopol as part of the Farm to Coast Collective- The Livery on Main” said White. That location will draw even more people and recognition to Cozy Plum and Sonoma County with the large tourism market expected at The Livery. “We are poised and planning for San Jose, Oakland, Fresno, Marin, Napa County and more”, he explained. White’s vision for his restaurant goes far beyond Sonoma County and even beyond California. He adds, “If I can pull off what I am hoping to pull off, then we are going national within ten years”.
This promising expansion for Cozy Plum reflects the growing popularity of vegan comfort food and plant-based eating. Cozy Plum is one of the first all-vegan restaurants in Santa Rosa. It is also currently the only 100% vegan fast-casual restaurant in the county.
It won’t be the last. More restaurants are sure to follow as they learn the winning formula that makes Cozy Plum so deliciously unique.