Good things seem to come in pairs, and the mother-daughter duo behind Upbeet + Rooted is no exception. But they aren’t the only unit of two. Their shared credo combines a perpetually cheerful disposition with a grounded ethos hell-bent on cruelty-free living. Diane Mantel and Kim Bohstedt launched their plant-based pop-up market, Upbeet + Rooted, with an optimistic and dedicated approach to cultivating more eco-minded consumerism. “We both have always had this crazy love affair with animals and wanted this venture to bring awareness to saving the animals and doing no harm to them,” says Mantel. “It became an all-inclusive ‘do no harm’ idea that we wanted to share with the world.” Upbeet + Rooted uniquely supported small, plant-based makers and local purveyors through its always sold-out pop-up events, which made appearances on the streets of Tampa, St. Pete and Sarasota since its start in 2019. The company’s audience and strong following have continued to evolve—with vegan living and plant-based products becoming more popularly precedent, and the advocacy to shop local reinforced by a challenging year for small businesses. But because most of 2020’s public-gathering events had to take a back seat (more like thrown in the trunk), Mantel and Bohstedt were forced to find a creative way to replicate their in-person business model to an online platform.

Adamant on keeping their vendors afloat and furthering their mission to be the go-to outlet for shopping clean, cruelty-free products, Upbeet + Rooted refocused operations by creating a new concept that was more “COVID-friendly,” they say. In November 2020, Mantel and Bohstedt announced the launch of an e-marketplace to kick off the new year, which the pair have been restlessly growing and updating for months to become a fun, approachable and trustworthy source that empowers vegan living and a virtual community centered around the good of animals, people and small businesses across the country. Reflecting their consumers’ changing priorities and reinforcing their presence, Upbeet + Rooted successfully morphed into an online apothecary and grocer for the eco-minded consumer and vegan shopper.

Its “No-Harm Marketplace” operates through their Instagram page and website, and includes a combination of local and national brands/vendors that Mantel and Bohstedt have either met personally through their previous markets or found through the cyberworld. “Going virtual allows more people to discover the brands we love and trust, and allows people access to these products they have not had before,” explains Bohstedt. The debut Season One collection launched January 1 with 13 thoughtfully chosen flagship brands that will be placed in a rotating selection. Each “season” will last three months, then will rotate out its selected stock to feature more products they’re passionate about and believe in to sustain a cruelty-free lifestyle.

These brands practice total transparency and go beyond mass consumerism to feature clean, hip and modern items. Upcycled carrot juice pulp made into Seconds “Carrot Crackers” promotes no wasted food, while Froozeballs rolls raw ingredients into plant-powered energy balls for the active snackers and Up to Good Sparkling Cascara Clean Energy Drink comes sustainably brewed from the coffee fruit, not the bean. Upbeet + Rooted does hours upon hours of online research to find the snacks you’d prefer to fill your pantry with—and may not necessarily be available at big box grocery stores. “Every item is vetted to support brands that share our values while taking the guesswork out of the customer experience,” they say. Look out also for The Modern Pop plant-based fruit pops and fudgesicles, JOYA adaptogenic elixir blends and herbal supplements, Pineapple Collaborative tin-can olive oils, Core & Rind creamy dairy-free cashew cheese sauces, Brekki’s ready-to-eat Overnight Oats with ancient grains, FRONKS organic nut mylks, Joolies date snacks and Spero Foods sunflower cream cheese. “We typically search for brands we can get behind whose mission aligns with our ‘do no harm’ mantra—that’s first and foremost,” Mantel shares. “Then we look for things such as their aesthetic, what their story is about and if they are open to joining our community of like-minded brands that network to promote and support each other.” SRQ