He wrote a book about his love for beef, now he owns a plant-based manufacturer in Rhode Island

This is a photo of the entrance to Plants to Food. (WLNE)

LINCOLN, R.I. (WLNE) — 24 years ago, a man founded Dakota Beef, the largest grass-fed beef producer in the country.

Now he owns a plant-based manufacturing company in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Lively is the author of For the Love of Beef and an organic beef blog.

He took over Wildtree in September, turning it into Plants to Food.

You could consider Lively a flexitarian, because he still eats meat, but not as much as he used to.

“I’m really not a vegan. I still do eat meat. I don’t eat the amount I used to. I tend to learn towards high-quality American organic grass-fed beef,” said Lively.

With the uprise of the plant-based community, Lively knew he had to follow the trend.

“The same attributes of health and wellness attracted me to the plant-based lifestyle, as well as an obvious market out there that is wanted and needed,” said Lively. “I feel like I’ve always been on the cutting edge, or at least the latest of what trends are in American food, as far as health and wellness goes.”

This is a photo of “Happyist” plant-based chocolate. (WLNE)

“I think nutrient dense plant-based foods are going to be one of the biggest things happening to the American grocery market,” said Lively.

Plants to Food currently has 44 customers, most of those from oversees.

They are growing fast, after being open for only six weeks.

“My intention for this company is to become the world’s largest plant-based food co-manufacturer in the entire planet,” said Lively.

Plants to Food makes plant-based cheese inside the manufacturing plant.

Traditionally, cheese caves are used to age and preserve cheese.

The environment of these caves are important for precise temperatures and protocol to get the right flavor and texture.

Inside the manufacturing plant, you’ll find a cheese cave, growing plant-based cheese.

The process starts with a culture that is fermented in a temperature-controlled climate for seven to 21 days.

This is a photo of “Happyist” plant-based cheese. (WLNE)

Cultures helps grow rinds around the cheese, making it look and taste like conventional cheese.

The company manufactures more than just cheese, selling things like spices to sauces.

Lively shared that Plants to Food will bring many jobs to Rhode Island because of the large space.

“We are hoping to double our employee size to 60-65 employees, and quickly,” said Lively. “That’s not just manufacturing jobs, we are looking for administrators, executives, sales, marketing, on-boarding people, customer service reps, we are looking for all sorts of professionals.”

Customers can use office space inside, as well as conference rooms, kitchen space, and a professional photographer to take photos of their products.

The business is growing quickly, and Lively will continue to work on his plans to expand.

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