From a self-admitted cheese-addicted mom to a restaurant entrepreneur determined to help other moms and dads put the best food in their kids’ bellies, Rua Francis Oshana is doing something completely unique as others rush to capitalize on the growing interest in plant-based eating.
She opened Planthropie, a new plant-based dessert, cheese and zero-proof bar in Birmingham in late February. Already, the interest in it is beyond what she imagined and she says she expects it will become a destination for people as she keeps expanding the menu.
She likes that the name has the mission embedded in it. “Our mission is to create the purest food out there using plants” while educating and raising awareness for people to change their eating for better health, she says.
For Oshana, who was a vegetarian before her son Monaco was born three years ago, embracing a completely plant-based diet was a necessity. She discovered he was allergic to the dairy she ate and drank while breastfeeding.
Like many others who choose a plant-based lifestyle, satisfying cravings for desserts and cheeses is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. She decided if she couldn’t find the food she needed for her family, she would create it.
So, she took to the kitchen to experiment, focusing on only the best and purest ingredients.
Oshana started her career studying medicine before being forced to flee Iraq to Canada after her father, a famous physician in the country, was kidnapped and held for ransom. The family, who paid his ransom, learned Oshana was next.
“We literally left overnight, left everything,” she says.
In Canada, she focused on preventative health care and dental hygiene. Once she moved to Metro Detroit, she focused on business marketing.
Through it all, though, cooking has been a constant.
For other parents, she says her focus has been as a mom who cares about her own child’s health and everyone else’s so that’s why only the purest of foods will be used.
“I’m passionate about it. No compromise,” she says.
She says what she’s created at Plantropie is meant to surpass traditional desserts; they are not overly sweet, but still luscious and creamy, packed with nutrients. The same thing with the cheeses she creates.
Families will love the cakes and bliss balls (think nutrition-packed energy balls of yum), all minus the sugar crash. Parents and older kids will love the plant-based cheeses while the zero-proof bar offers mocktails, sparkling tea, roses and champagnes as well as flavored cold brews.
Plantrophie is located at 135 Pierce St. in Birmingham and is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday. For more information visit them online at plantrophie.com.