Supermarkets and health food stores offer a growing variety of meat substitutes, aimed at vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians and everyone else who has decided to eat less meat. What we hadn’t yet spotted, however, was a store dedicated to meat substitutes in the same way a butcher is dedicated to meat. Filling that gap is De Vegetarische Slager — the vegetarian butcher — which will be opening its doors in The Hague on Monday. In addition to selling existing meat substitutes, De Vegetarische Slager’s main innovation is its own line of lupin-based products. Protein-rich lupin seeds, also known as lupin beans, were common fare for the Romans. The plant’s popularity as a source of human food fell by the wayside, and until soy came along, it was used to feed livestock. Now, a Dutch lupin grower — eighth generation farmer Jaap Korteweg — aims to bring lupin back into the kitchen as a sustainable alternative to eating animals. The process of turning lupin seeds into edible protein was developed by a company in Wageningen. Korteweg, meanwhile, partnered with chef Marco Westmaas to create a culinary range of lupin and soy-based products that he’ll be selling from his new ‘butcher’s shop’. De Vegetarische Slager hopes to appeal to foodies, and is targeting the higher end of the market — consumers willing to pay as much for a meat substitute as they would for the real thing. As more people opt for meatless Mondays or cut out meat altogether, we wouldn’t be surprised to see vegetarian butchers pop up on main streets around the world.