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Dan Staackmann

Dan Staackmann is the founder and president of Upton’s Naturals, an independently-owned, ethical vegan food company based in Chicago, IL. A 25-year vegan and long-time advocate for animal rights and environmental sustainability, Dan founded Upton’s Naturals in 2006 with a DIY attitude and slow-growth business model. Beginning in a shared kitchen, he created and introduced the first integrally-flavored packaged seitan. After testing the market in a handful of local restaurants, Upton’s Naturals Seitan proved to warrant a product packed for retail and a dedicated production facility. The seitan launched in a limited number of natural food stores in the Midwest and reached national distribution by 2011.

In 2013, Dan worked with award-winning architects, UrbanLab, to design and build a mixed-use building in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood that includes private living space, offices, production space, and a café called Upton’s Breakroom. In 2015, after growing a loyal base of customers, Upton’s Naturals was the first in the world to launch pre-cooked, pre-seasoned young Jackfruit in a retort pouch, which is now available in 20+ countries worldwide. In April 2018, the company expanded into a new production facility that’s more than six times the size of the West Town facility, where Upton’s Breakroom remains. Upton’s Naturals’ latest products are shelf-stable, heat-and-serve Ch’eesy Macs and Thai-inspired Real Meal Kits.

  • July 2, 2019    |   First Amendment

    Mississippi Food Labeling Law

    Mississippi Makes Selling “Veggie Burgers” a Crime

    Brace yourselves: Veggie burgers don’t contain meat. If this doesn’t come as a stunning revelation, then you’re savvier than the state of Mississippi gives you credit for. This year, at the behest of the meat lobby, Mississippi banned food companies making plant-based meat alternatives from using any meat product terms on their labels, supposedly to…

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