The future is vegan, but ESquared Hospitality hasn’t figured that out yet… The restaurant investor had the opportunity to work with celebrity chef Chloe Coscarelli, one of the brightest stars in the culinary world, and they blew it.
The celebrity chef sought ESquared Hospitality’s expertise in restaurant investing, and then they fired her when the concept proved to be a profitable success, multiple locations later. According to an article in Forbes.com:
“One night in late December, I decided that opening a restaurant would be my New Year’s resolution,” Coscarelli said. “I googled ‘Best Hospitality Group in NYC’ to help expedite my goal and found E2 Hospitality. I emailed them and came in for a meeting with some of my vegan cinnamon espresso cookies. Samantha and I hit it off from the start. She has an eye for style and has created a truly spectacular design and brand that match the food perfectly.”
Vegan and omnivore businesses often have conflicting goals. While all businesses must generate an income to survive, vegan businesses often go beyond the profit motive with a socially responsible mission. I am honored and privileged to be part of the independent grassroots vegan community; people, quality, and community come before profit, and I couldn’t have figured out that path without the influence chef Chloe has had on my life since 2012.
I visited the Seaport restaurant twice on opening day as I was working on this piece. I was familiar with the lawsuit already, but was hoping that chef Chloe would still make an appearance. When she didn’t, and I found myself sitting next to Samantha Wasser and her corporate team during the opening lunch rush, I knew there was a problem…
Chloe has since been teaming up with other vegan celebrity chefs this year to create world-class dinners at prestigious events. She’s been part of two vegan dream teams: first with Matthew Kenney on a sold out $250 per plate dinner at the acclaimed South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBE WFF); and she was one of four chefs that veganized the James Beard House for a weekend of luxury fine dining.
Photo credit: Kiki Adami
But, as of March 27, 2017:
According to Nation’s Restaurant News, ESquared Hospitality is free to grow the brand without the namesake celebrity chef.
Hmmm…, let’s see how well this works out…
Customers want Chloe and her vision of healthier and accessible vegan cuisine. Her fans on Instagram are using the hashtags #standwithchloe, #teamchloe, and #withchloe to show support. Boycotts are promised.
The vegan lifestyle and plant-based cuisine are becoming more mainstream as extensive social media platforms have turned many urbanites and suburbanites into trendsetting influencers. Millennials and surrounding generations have become instant documentarians with social media app-loaded smartphones that can send images, stories, and videos viral in a matter of minutes. Carnivorous cruelty cannot spin the PR to maintain primacy as a culturally or nutritionally acceptable lifestyle. What was once fringe culture has been pushed center-stage as tech-savvy consumers engage in more socially responsible lifestyles. Animal products cannot compete because consuming non-human animals in all aspects of our lifestyle lacks morals and ethics.
Mainstream veganism is chipping away at the influence of animal products on consumers, and Chloe is significantly influencing this through her social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, website, and YouTube videos). Chef Chloe is one of the first of the professional millennial influencers, going vegan long before it was mainstream.
“CEO Henry Schwartz said the company has been operating at a high cost in recent years and revealed that “Pasteurized fluid milk has sort of gone out of style.”, “we are unable to continue to go on without ongoing losses.” “There isn’t much room for our kind of business. I tried to keep this open because it was my father’s plant and he asked me to do so.”
Animal products are slowly losing profitability and positive PR for mainstream businesses. Some of the largest animal product producers are either investing in established vegan brands (such as Tyson and their minority stake in Beyond Meat), or ditching cruelty completely and investing in their own vegan products, such as Elmhurst Dairy, which is now simply Elmhurst, manufacturing premium nut milks creatively called “Milked …(whatever the nut is)”.
It’s concerning that ESquared doesn’t seem to see how valuable and innovative vegan leadership in business can be… The community is supporting Chloe Coscarelli, and she will prevail.
Here is the link to my post in Medium: by CHLOE. was taken from Chloe
My Medium profile: https://medium.com/@chloerivka?source=linkShare-842e9247f6fd-1490761528