Hungry vegan fans raise $50,000 for first meatless butcher shop in Twin Cities

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There is serious appetite for a vegan butcher in the Twin Cities.

A Kickstarter campaign launched by siblings Kale and Aubry Walch has reached the $50,000 goal they say will help them open the "first vegan butcher shop in the United States" – with six days to spare.

Noticing that the majority of meat-free products sold in stores tend to be frozen, the duo started selling their own creations at farmers' markets in the summer, the Pioneer Press reports.

Their creations include teriyaki jerky, savory short ribs, Italian sausage, and pepperoni, which are made mostly with vital wheat gluten.

And their ambitions grew. At the start of this month they launched the fund-raising drive for their own store, which they hope will resemble an authentic, 1950s butcher shop, ideally with 1,500-square feet of space and its own commercial kitchen.

"We can't believe we've actually made our goal of $50,000," Aubry said on the Kickstarter page. "We are just totally overwhelmed by your support and your love, and the kind messages you have sent us."

Now they have reached their initial goal, they have kept their page open to donations to try and get to $60,000 before their Sunday deadline, to buy equipment that will allow them to smoke vegan meats and cheeses.

"We'd love to get a steamer and a smoker to handle back-to-back small batches to meet the demand for all of our local and national customers," they say on their Facebook page.

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