Bend based Next Level Burger has partnered with Whole Foods to bring their fast casual vegan concept to the Seattle area and beyond. The Eat Guide CEO, Jason Staats, stopped by to chat with the owners and enjoy some delicious 100% plant based foods!
Next Level Burger started in Bend in 2014 and quickly became a local favorite. Soon they expanded with two locations in the Portland area and now their most recent location in the Roosevelt Square Whole Foods.
When asked what took so long to come to Seattle after announcing the expansion in 2015, Matt de Gruyter explained “We planned to open up a stand-alone location in Seattle the next year (2016); We were approached in a very kind mutually synchronistic fashion by Whole Foods 365, because of our Hawthorne location, to partner with them on a brand new concept like what Whole Foods has done with grocery spaces…”
“We push every boundary that there is and we are also very ethos minded in our commitment to all organic products, non-GMO and of course 100% plant based. Now, there is a lot of crossover with Whole Foods.” de Gruyter continued “Maybe a part of my personal health journey, my wife’s personal health journey, my family’s personal health journey and we just thought they are phenomenal company [...] and I can honestly say from the absolute sole of my shoes up that they walk the walk, they talk the talk and so when it came back around for us to start looking and where we are going to go in Seattle and this opportunity presented itself, it was a forgone conclusion…”
The new location has all the sparkle and shine of a national chain, and in talking with Mr. de Gruyter it was obvious that growth was on his mind. “We have a very multi-faceted aggressive growth strategy, which is fancy way of saying, we want to build as many of these as we can.” So expect to see more locations in popping up in Whole Foods and stand alone locations around the country very soon.
Eventually the conversation turned from burgers and expansion, to dessert. Next Level Burger has perfected both hand spun soy and coconut shakes, when asked about his personal favorite… “for dessert, a dark chocolate organic peanut butter cup shake is the money every single time.” adding, “my kids favorites are cookies’n’cream. They cannot get enough with the shakes, we have to cut them off eventually!”
The new location is open daily from 11am to 10pm inside the Whole Foods at Roosevelt Square 1026B NE 64th St, Seattle, WA 98115. http://www.nextlevelburger.com/