Vancouver-based PlantX, an e-commerce platform dedicated to plant-based (or vegan) products, is opening its first brick-in-mortar stores. A new 15,000-sq.-ft location is scheduled to open in the new year in Squamish, B.C., and a 4,500-sq.-ft. store will open in San Diego in March 2021.PlantX was founded in 2019 and went public in August 2020. Billing itself as the “digital face of the plant-based community,” PlantX sells a variety of plant-based groceries, beverages, ready-made meals, vitamins and pet food, as well as a selection of houseplants on its Plantx.com and Plantx.ca websites. In addition to the grocery offering, the new Canadian flagship will feature an education centre, café and restaurant with plant-based meals designed by a team of executive chefs and nutritionists. The Locavore Bar & Grill, which PlantX acquired in November, will be converted into the Canadian flagship. The location will also serve as the fulfillment centre for e-commerce orders. “When we went public, we received a lot of interest from people wanting to come into a physical store and be able to see and touch the product,” says Alex Hoffman, chief marketing officer at PlantX. “So, we started thinking about opening a store that’s more of an education centre. Even though the plant-based movement is on the rise and having a moment now, many people still aren’t sure how to be 100% plant-based or what it even means to be plant-based.” With education being a big focus at PlantX, the company wants people to feel like they can ask anything, and discover new and interesting products. PlantX offers grocery items across the dry goods, frozen and refrigerated categories. For shoppers, a 100% plant-based store takes away questions about whether or not a product contains any animal ingredients. “Some specialty plant-based grocery stores are not 100% plant based, so you walk in might be confused about whether a product has dairy or meat,” says Hoffman. “PlantX is a place where you can comfortably buy anything knowing that it will support your vegan or plant-based lifestyle—you don’t even have to question it. If it’s in the store, it is [vegan].” PlantX plans to expand the concept in North America and internationally through franchising. PlantX will use the space as a showcase for franchises.