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“Plant Good, Eat Kind”

Downtown Birmingham’s Planthropie has made healthy cheese and dessert a thing.

Article by Danielle Alexander

Photography by Courtesy of Planthropie's Rua and Kim Hoover of Apple of Our Eye

Originally published in Birmingham Life

With my daughter lactose intolerant and husband on a gluten-free diet, finding places to dine with menu items we can all enjoy is not an easy feat– especially ones that taste good. So, when Planthropie founder Rua Oshana handed me her Signature Cheesecake to try, I was in awe of the concept and could not believe it was something my whole family could enjoy. 

Located at 135 Pierce Street in Birmingham, Planthropie is a plant-based, refined sugar free, organic, fair trade, gluten free and soy free dessert and cheese bar, making it an ideal regular stop for those with allergies and intolerances, those following a specific diet or honestly those who just love cheese and desserts!  

According to planthropie.com, the Downtown Birmingham shop ethically sources the finest raw organic ingredients for synergy and optimal absorption. The food served is wholesome, rich in natural vitamins and packed with minerals and fuel, such as single origin cashews and cacao beans.

Planthropie’s menu is divided into the two categories of cheese and dessert:

  • Cheeses: Using techniques to honor traditional cheesemaking to create a sustainable and nourishing cheese that’s rich in vitamins, minerals and probiotics, the cheese is handcrafted in small batches right in Birmingham. 

  • Desserts: The desserts are made with the finest organic raw ingredients from fruits to cashews (among other tree nuts) and balanced with the natural sweetness of the finest specialty dates in combination with a touch of pure maple.

Prior to opening Planthropie, Rua studied medicine, fled war in Iraq, worked in preventative healthcare and nutritional counseling in Canada and then transitioned into business and marketing in the US. After giving birth to her son, she quickly discovered he had a dairy allergy.

“At the time, I was vegetarian but still loved my cheese and eggs,” Rua explained. “My son got to the point where he was choking on my breast milk, so our pediatrician recommended the process of elimination in my diet to figure out the cause. By the fifth day of me having no dairy, he was sleeping like an angel and had no signs of discomfort or redness in his cheeks.”

As a result of this, she decided to bridge her background experiences together to not only focus her work on conscious living and nutrition but also her passion for artistry. And in December 2017, Planthropie was born. Starting out with local popups and Farmers Markets, word-of-mouth spread, and less than two years later, it was time for a brick and mortar. 

“I had a booth at Art Birmingham, and the moment I looked into the window, I could imagine what you see now,” Rua explained. “A couple months later it was still available, so I knew it was meant to be. I signed in April of 2019.”

Planthropie’s mission extends beyond the beauty and goodness of plant-based food: the team also works to inspire kindness, compassion and well-being through education and intentional partnerships, as well.

Learn more about the seasonal flavors and this year’s holiday menu at planthropie.com or follow Planthropie on Instagram @planthropie. Rua said the most updated hours can be found on Google.

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