Adam and Jackie Sappington, co-owners of the rustic, meat-focused diner The Country Cat, are getting into the health food game according to this scoop from Portland Monthly’s Karen Brooks. Brooks reported that the Sappingtons, famous for their whole-animal butchery, buttery biscuits, and golden fried chicken, have completed a deal to buy the busy, vegan-friendly counter service group that encompasses Harlow, Prasad, and Prasad East.
The decision is due in part to changing culinary trends, as the Sappingtons tell Brooks that guests are often looking for healthier menu options:
Recently, they say, they’ve noticed a change at their 10-year-old Country Cat: customers are thinking more about what they eat; they want more choices. They want vegan or gluten-free options, driven in part by the culinary lifestyle of their kids. As the Sappingtons put it, “It’s a growing ‘cuisine’—a way of eating with mass appeal.”
It’s unclear how much the duo will re-shape the menus, but don’t expect fried chicken or pork belly to be topping the kale salads anytime soon—former owner Karen Pride told Eater she was excited for “a commitment to plant-based dining to be carried on by the Sappingtons.” She and general manager and chef Brittney Galloway will both be stepping aside to make room for the new management. “We’re happy to have served the community at Harlow, Prasad and Prasad East over the years but are excited for a change,” Pride told Eater.
As for the new direction of the vegan-friendly cafes, the Sappingtons told PoMo they would be focusing on bringing a heightened seasonality, something they feel is currently lacking from the vegetable-focused menu. They also plan on bringing in the farmer connections they’ve cultivated over the years for a greater emphasis on locality.