Vancouver's Pizzeria Grano adds dairy to the menu, leading to blowback

Apr 4 2023, 10:32 pm

A popular plant-based pizzeria in Vancouver has decided to add dairy to its menu, a decision that has upset many in the plant-based community.

Pizzeria Grano is located at 3240 Main Street, in the same building previously occupied by another pizza spot, Don’t Argue! Pizzeria.

Since its opening in 2020, Pizzeria Grano has been offering Neapolitan-style pies that are entirely plant-based, using hand-crafted, plant-based cheeses.

“We offer Vancouver’s first plant-based Vera Pizza Napoletana,” Grano notes on its website.

Yesterday, Pizzeria Grano posted on Facebook and Instagram about the planned change to offer dairy.

“We are so excited to officially announce that we are now a vegan and vegetarian pizzeria, offering both plant-based and dairy cheeses!”

The high-rated Vancouver plant-based pizza joint also stated that the decision to add dairy to the menu was “not being made without a great deal of thought.”

“Our mission with this expansion is to be more inclusive of everyone’s dietary needs. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or eat-as-you-please, we want to have a little something for everyone.”

Plant-based blowback

The initial announcement on Facebook has nearly 80 comments, with most people decrying the move to add dairy to the menu at the popular Vancouver pizzeria.

“This is the first time I’ve heard about the ‘dietary need’ for dairy cheese, dairy industry cruelty aside,” said one commenter.

Another Facebook user commented, “So so sad that they have decided to add cruelty.”

Many people who follow a plant-based diet suggested their non-vegan friends and family loved the offerings at Grano.

One person wrote, “My non-vegan friends and family loved your fully vegan pizzas…”

Another said, “I would come with my omnivore friends and they loved your pizzas.”

Some commented that they would no longer return to the restaurant after the announcement.

You must have no idea how comforting and calming it is to be able to go to [a] restaurant and just order anything on the menu and not think twice. Like someone else said, vegan restaurants are sanctuaries. You’re taking that away from the Vancouver vegan community and this is a step backwards.

Grano responds

Following the blowback, Grano put out another statement.

“We are unapologetically excited about the new direction we’re taking and our expanded menu!”

The restaurant added, “In a year when many vegan restaurants and suppliers have closed, it is our absolute prerogative to choose to broaden our customer base to include people with different, but similar, dietary preferences in order to sustain our business for another four years and beyond. We believe that we have the best plant-based pizza in the city and want to make sure we continue to share it for as long as we can.”

Grano co-owner Dom Morra agreed to speak with Daily Hive about the decision.

Morra told Daily Hive that the move was imperative for the pizzeria to keep its doors open. That area of Mount Pleasant has seen a couple of notable all-vegan establishments close in recent months, including Kind Cafe and Planetary Burger.

“We didn’t want to go the way of other vegan businesses in Mount Pleasant.”

Morra also reflected on the 24 hours following the announcement, including the blowback.

“It’s stressful,” Morra said.

“There’s only so much venom and hate a human being can endure and not start to take it personally.”

Morra added that about half of the people behind the operations at Grano follow a plant-based lifestyle and was okay with adding dairy to the menu. He also said the menu is still predominantly plant-based.

“We’re still going to make great plant-based food, and we think it’s the best plant-based pizza around, and we hope that everyone appreciates the quality of our product.”

Amir AliAmir Ali

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