HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A Huntsville vegan restaurant is attracting more than vegetarians with its flavorful plant-based dishes.

Chef Adyre Mason started The Veggie in 2018 from the comfort of her kitchen. After making a “life change”, she found herself switching to a vegan lifestyle. Mason dreamed about getting into the culinary business. Her mother was also one of her biggest supporters.

After suddenly losing her mother, Chef Adyre decided it was time to take a leap of faith.

“I just decided to go for it,” said Mason. “I left my career on Redstone Arsenal to start a second career as a chef.”

Three years of hard work preparing and delivering meals or popping up at farmers’ markets turned into a brick-and-mortar establishment at Huntsville’s Lowe Mill in 2021.

“It just became apparent that there was more of a need for what I was offering and to offer more options for vegans and plant-based consumers; even people who are interested in vegan food,” Mason said.

Since then, The Veggie has grown to be Huntsville’s biggest and most award-winning vegan restaurant — making quite the name for itself.

The establishment is the only vegan business to receive a proclamation from the mayor as well as the First Black Business to earn the “Downtown Huntsville Project of The Year” Award. Chef Adyre is currently the only vegan chef in the state of Alabama to make an appearance on the Food Network and received the 2022 Catalyst “Female Entrepreneur of The Year” Award.

“We’re very proud of our accomplishments that we’ve been able to rack up over the last year and a half,” Mason told News 19.

Mason hopes to add to her accolades after entering to qualify for the World Food Championships in Dallas, Texas. Huntsville Restaurant Week serves as an official qualifying event for the competition and will allow one local chef and team the opportunity to compete on the largest food stage in the world.

The Veggie’s flavor is what keeps plant and meat lovers coming back for more. Chef Adyre said keeping familiar foods on the menu helps “veg-curious” customers embrace eating healthier.

“I feel like that helps people overcome that stigma of not wanting to try vegan food,” she explained. “So it helps people who are what I call veg-curious to come in and maybe lend themselves to eating a little healthier.”

In honor of Huntsville Restaurant Week, The Veggie added two special options for customers to enjoy at a discounted price.

Huntsville Restaurant Week runs from August 12 to 21. To learn more about the Veggie and other participating restaurants in the Huntsville area, visit huntsville.org/events/restaurant-week.