Plant Joy, a vegan food concept, is Camp North End’s fourth and final food stall in the Gama Goat outdoor dining space. Plant Joy is planning a November 24 opening.
The vegan food stall is led by a familiar name in Charlotte’s plant-based community — Julia Simon of Nourish Charlotte, a vegan meal delivery service. This is the first brick-and-mortar location for Simon and partner Erik Berns.
The name, Plant Joy, has been Simon’s mantra throughout the craziness of 2020, a reminder to find joy in this challenging year.
“The act of planting things, it’s not an immediate gratification. You’re building for the future,” she says. “There’s an optimism to it.”
Simon admits it’s scary to launch a new concept in the midst of the pandemic and economic downturn, but she credits her team, Nourish’s customers, and the Camp North End staff for encouraging her and Berns in this direction.
Let’s talk food: Like Nourish, Simon’s Plant Joy menu is all about local, organic, and vegan dishes. Highlights include socca (a chickpea crepe), rainbow toast (with bread from Verdant Bread), and the falafel stack (like falafel nachos). Plant Joy will also have pastries from Kacie Smagacz of Move That Dough Baking Co.
[Related Agenda guide: Guide to vegan and vegetarian dining in Charlotte — 17 places to try]
“We’ll be offering some of the healthiest, most sustainable food in town,” Simon says, noting her team’s commitment to recycling, composting, and buying local even when it’s more time-consuming and expensive.
The Nourish team recently won Mecklenburg County’s Recycling Excellence Award.
Food as a human right: Simon isn’t just a chef. She’s a food activist with this ~radical~ idea that no one should ever go hungry. At Plant Joy she’ll have a “community plate” option where customers can donate funds toward a future meal for someone in need.
At nearby Leah & Louise, Camp North End’s first sit-down restaurant, there’s a rotating pay-what-you-can dish that’s in the same vein as Plant Joy’s community plate.
“Food is a human right, and there’s nothing to say other than that,” Simon says.
Space: Plant Joy will be located along a strip of food stalls, including Bleu Barn Bistro, SARU, and La Caseta. The exterior will be covered in a “psychedelic” vegetable mosaic mural by Goodyear Arts artist Grace Stott. Seating is shared between the four stalls and is all outdoors. Berns and Cluck Design designed the space.
Location: 1801 N. Graham St.
Hours: Plant Joy will be open Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for walk-up service
- Bleu Barn Bistro – A focus on farm-to-table cuisine with burgers, sandwiches, and more.
- La Caseta – Latin American food from the team behind Sabor and Three Amigos.
- SARU – Ramen shop by NYC-based Bow Ramen.
More about Camp North End: User’s guide: Camp North End, the growing development near Uptown, now home to 40+ cool tenants