An entirely plant-based restaurant is fresh on the Wayzata scene, and while vegetarians, vegans and plant-based diet devotees may rejoice, we get the feeling more than a few curious omnivores are going to explore STALK & SPADE’s burger and shake fare and find a favorite or two.
We talked with STALK & SPADE executive director Haley Gates for more details about this new concept on plant-based fast-food.
What does the name STALK & SPADE represent?
STALK refers to the actual plants used to make up our plant-based menu, and SPADE signifies the shovel used to harvest the plants. We want to communicate that everything in our restaurant is plant-based, dairy free and completely free of animal products.
What’s the ethos behind the restaurant?
Our goal is to provide an exceptional tasting product that is 100 percent plant-based, without you ever tasting the difference. It’s “everything you never knew you always wanted.” We believe eating plant-based is much more than a trend; it’s the future. [Founder and CEO Steele Smiley] created this brand to provide communities with the option to do so with your classic fast-food favorites. We want our brand to be accessible and inclusive for everyone to eat plant-based.
Can you give us an overview of the menu?
Our menu is really made up your classic favorites. Burgers, chick’n sandwiches, chick’n nuggets, fries, shakes and other frozen treats. In addition to your classic burger and chicken sandwiches, we will also offer specialty items curtesy of our executive chef like the ‘Shroom Burger, Spicy Sriracha Chick’n and Smiley Shakes (shakes with premium mixed-in ingredients). [The complete menu is on its website.]
What’s an item on the menu that has you most excited?
Tough to pick just one, but the Spicy Sriracha Chick’n sandwich is unbelievable. It pairs great with sweet potato fries and a Rocky Road Smiley Shake.
When people hear “plant-based restaurant,” they rarely think of classic American fast-food fare, like burgers and shakes. Why did the restaurant go in this direction?
[Smiley] truly believes this is the future way of eating. There is nothing in the market like STALK & SPADE, and we couldn’t be more excited to be the first to bring this concept into communities around the country.
Why Wayzata as the flagship location?
[Smiley] has been a part of the Wayzata community for many years. [He] opened CRISP & GREEN on Lake Street back in 2016 and has felt nothing but support from the Wayzata community.
Do you plan to open more locations?
Absolutely! In Minnesota, we already have a few locations picked out that are set to open end of 2021. It does not stop there—since announcing our concept in March, we already have had an interest from different franchise partners across the nation. It’s been very exciting to see people wanting to get involved in our plant-based concept.