The mission of The Lunch Room is to prepare high-quality, nutritious vegan food, and to demonstrate the breadth and versatility of plant-based whole foods. The Lunch Room, when possible, uses local and organic produce, makes everything from scratch from fine ingredients, and emphasizes environmental sustainability.
The people behind The Lunch Room are Phillis Engelbert and Joel Panozzo. We are good friends and next-door neighbors who love to cooking and serving vegan food. We share a philosophy that “work” should be the pursuit of what you love and should reflect your values and interests. Our work embraces freedom, creativity, fun, egalitarianism, social justice, and community.
The Lunch Room began as a twinkle in Joel’s and Phillis’ eye in the summer of 2010. We started out by preparing dinner parties and brunches for friends, featuring experimental vegan dishes. We then named and branded our business, purchased our signature cafeteria trays, and from October 2010 through February 2011 hosted a series of “pop-up” dining events at local retail establishments.
The Lunch Room’s next step was to open a food cart. The Lunch Room cart operated during the 2011 and 2012 seasons at the downtown Ann Arbor food cart courtyard, Mark’s Carts. There we developed and honed a menu, made many new friends, and built our business. We were even voted “Best Food Cart” in Current Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards! In October 2012 The Lunch Room wrapped up a successful second season at Mark’s Carts and decided to move on to bigger adventures.
We are now preparing to open a restaurant in Kerrytown! Watch for a grand opening announcement in July.