Popular North Carolina Vegan Restaurant Will Close Its Doors This Month
A popular vegan restaurant owned by two Black, LGTBQ+ women is closing its doors soon. VelTree Vegan announced recently will close its restaurant in December — another business casualty of the pandemic.
Chef Velvet “Vel” Kelty-Jacobs owns the restaurant with her wife, Treona. Last December, the two moved the business from University City to Ballantyne Village. And there was even talk of expansion, but that plan did not pan out. Both say Covid and the pandemic are to blame.
They announced the disappointing news on their Instagram page. It stated, “2020/21 and the pandemic devastated the restaurant industry, especially small businesses, but because of our faith we continued to press through, but No one could know the full impact that Covid would leave on businesses around the world.”
Chef Velvet also says inflation, staffing shortages, and supply chain issues also led to their decision to close the restaurant.”
The restaurant is well-known even to celebrities. Artists like Anthony Hamilton, Erykah Badu, and Nick Cannon praise VelTree. And according to a report from Charlotte Five, it’s been named a top restaurant by PETA. VelTree opened in 2018 as Charlotte’s first Black-woman-owned vegan soul food cafe.
Chef Velvet says the restaurant served as a platform to give back to the community. She believes through the restaurant they were able to positively impact the community just by being here. VelTree will close its doors for the last time Dec. 23.