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Meet Shark Tank’s First Kosher Food Winner

Well, that should buy a lot of sushi.

Guy Vaknin, the vegan-cuisine innovator who took his Beyond Sushi concept to ABC-TV’s Shark Tank Sunday night, has scored a $1.5 million investment from “shark” Lori Greiner and “guest shark” Matt Higgins, Eater reports.

Vaknin’s victory makes Beyond Sushi the first vegan “Shark Tank” winner – as well as the show’s first kosher food contestant.

The investment also makes Beyond Sushi a sibling of sorts with hot restaurant brands Momofuku and Bluestone Lane, both of which Higgins and Greiner co-own through RSE Ventures, their holding company.

As Vaknin told the Forward last week, the gist of his Shark Tank pitch was to “to grow business into a national brand. I think it could be the leading plant-based brand in the country,” he said. “The main focus is restaurants, but it’s also possible we’ll do wholesale and products that relate to our mission.” Beyond Sushi now employs more than a hundred people, Vaknin said; another location is set to open in Manhattan this year, with at least three more set for 2019.

Back in 2012, the Forward was one of the first to report on Beyond Sushi’s debut, when the company consisted of one counter – with Vaknin behind it slicing sushi rolls.


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