Mark Cuban has seen the future of vegetarian dining — and it comes with spicy mustard, sauerkraut, and a side of greasy potato chips.
Last November, the billionaire “Shark Tank” judge shelled out $250,000 for a 20-percent stake in Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli — a “fine vegan meats” food startup that makes corned beef, turkey and other cold cuts from plant-based ingredients like beets and chickpeas.
Now, Cuban says he believes the business, which has forecasted $3 million in revenue for the current year, has the potential to hit $50 million in sales. Big distributors including Whole Foods and the Quizno’s have both begun testing the fledgling brand, he says.
In the case of Quizno’s, Cuban said he called the CEO and the sub-sandwich chain is now testing Unreal Deli meats in Denver and Seattle with the hopes of going national.
“Sales are really, really good — better than I imagined,” Cuban told The Post. “I never saw it happening this fast. In particular, we have distributors around the world now. I didn’t see that coming.”
The outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner — who became a vegetarian himself not long before he made his Unreal Deli investment — added that he doesn’t see publicly traded Beyond Meat being a competitor, since it is focused on veggie burgers.
“I see this as creating the plant-based corned-beef and pastrami markets and taking a lot of market share from plant-based turkey slices,” he said.
“I would always rather create a market. That’s when the home runs start.”
Cuban has previously invested in vegetarian startups like Alyssa’s Healthy Cookies, Nuts ’N More and New York City-based Wanna Date? fruit spreads.
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