The Hippo


Sep 23, 2019








Willows Plant-Based Eatery

55 S. Main St., Concord
Find them on Facebook.
Open daily for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Positively plant-based
Vegan cafe opens in Concord

By Allie Ginwala

Located in the spot that once housed Spoon Revolution Vegan Bistro, a new vegan cafe has moved into town. Opened in April, Willows Plant-Based Eatery is a vegan and vegetarian cafe serving black bean burgers, steamed veggie dishes, smoothies and more for lunch seven days a week.

For owner/chef Willow Mauck, living a plant-based lifestyle runs in the family. 
“I was born and raised vegetarian and have always been really passionate about animal welfare, animal rights, equality — things that I believe tie very much into the movement,” Mauck said. Her whole family is vegetarian, including her mother, Norma, who owns Susty’s Cafe in Northwood.
Mauck dreamed of owning her own restaurant since she was 12 years old and saw that dream become a reality when Spoon Revolution owner Charles Latchis decided to sell last fall. Wanting to keep the spot on South Main Street a vegan restaurant, Latchis contacted Mauck and her mother to see if they’d be interested. 
Based on the Seacoast at the time, Mauck was hesitant at first but realized that it was the right time to take a leap of faith. 
“It just felt right,” she said. “It felt like the right place, right time. Good opportunity to be able to serve food to people where there’s a need.” 
Cafe Indigo and Spoon Revolution, both vegan restaurants that have since closed in Concord, had a loyal customer base, which encouraged Mauck to bring her vegan cuisine to the capital city.
“I’m really happy to be in Concord. It’s different. It’s a change for me, but it’s also like the community here, you know, there’s been a void,” she said.
Willows Plant-Based Eatery offers a selection of soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers, light plates, hearty bowls, sweets and a daily specials menu. She chose menu items, like the lentil walnut burger and a variation on pad thai, based on things she likes to eat and thinks work well for lunchtime.
 “My mom’s owned the vegan restaurant in Northwood for 16 years and I grew up cooking and have learned a lot through there,” she said. Her background in cooking at Susty’s was a useful reference when designing her own menu. 
While there are similarities between Willow’s  and Susty’s, she said they are two separate entities and it’s worth visiting both. 
Mauck hopes that Willows Plant-Based Eatery will bring a new option not only to vegans and vegetarians, but also to those simply looking to try something different for lunch one day. 
“I would like a lot of the working people around here that order out lunch all the time to give it a try. [Those] that don’t necessarily eat vegan or vegetarian, it doesn’t matter, you could get some good food, find something on the menu that you really like.”
Looking ahead, Mauck wants to build on to what Willows offers by adding to her five-person staff and potentially opening for dinner. 
“It’s a lunch place for now for people to get something good-quality, healthful for lunch and I hope to expand to dinner at some point,” she said.
“If that’s what Concord is looking for and there’s a demand for that, I would totally like to be able to provide that for people,” she said. “I think people are excited for the uniqueness of it and it being different and bringing [a] splash of color, some culture to Concord.” 
As seen in the May 7, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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