How Actress Daniella Monet Is Becoming A Major Plant-Based Power Player

Photo Credit: Cameron Rad

Daniella Monet is the epitome of female empowerment. Known to many as an actress, host, and influencer, Daniella—whom many might know from her past as a Nickelodeon star on shows like Victorious,” among others, as well as Ariana Grandes “Thank U, Next” video—this plant-based star is creating a tremendous voice for conscious, healthy, and kind living by heading up several different new companies to prove it.  Her entrepreneurial efforts include Kinder Beauty, (co-founded with “Harry Potter” star Evanna Lynch), Outstanding Foods, and Sugar Taco, a plant-based restaurant coming to Melrose in Los Angeles.

We chatted with the newly-engaged actress-turned-entrepreneur about how she feels powerful, why investing is her new dream and the benefits of being plant-based.

Photo Credit: Cameron Rad

You’ve been plant-based for 17 years. What made you decide to do so at such a young age?

I’ve always been an animal lover. I went vegetarian at age 5 after witnessing a rodeo. Between 10 and 11 years old I became a lot more aware of vegansim. It started when my uncle was suffering from cancer, and my aunt hired a vegan chef to come prepare food for him. Shortly after that time I read a book called “Skinny Bitch” that advocated for a vegan diet and included sections on factory farming and animal cruelty. It all made so much sense to me.

What are the benefits of being plant-based that many people might not realize?

I believe a lot of my energy and focus stems from my vegan lifestyle. I’m hardly ever sick, and I stay relatively fit whilst eating just about whatever I want. Aside from that, I have little to no guilt. I know that the food I put in my body didn’t suffer. That to me, is priceless.

What are your favorite vegan/plant-based eateries, in L.A. and around the world? What are must-not-miss dishes at each?

The first vegetarian/vegan restaurant I ever ate at was Follow Your Heart – which I think will always have a special place in my heart! Aside from that, my favorite plant-based restaurants in Los Angeles are Hope, Juicy ladies, Joi Cafe, Little Pine, Shojin, Crossroads, Cafe Gratitude, and Gracias Madre.

While not a plant-based restaurant, I often crave the vegan burrito from Burrito Amor in Tulum, Mexico! Tulum is one of the more vegan-friendly places I’ve visited!

New York also has tons of great vegan spots! Some of my favorites are Candle 79, Blossom, and Bar Velo in Brooklyn.

Although you work in front of the camera still, you’re also a full-time ethical entrepreneur and are launching/have launched three companies,. What commonalities do they all have?

All three companies help make living a more conscious lifestyle accessible. My goal is to invest in any companies that feel good, that have a mission outside of financial motives. I want to create change, and by doing so I hope to be part of companies that make the vegan choice, the easier choice.

Photo Credit: Cameron Rad

Tell us about Kinder Beauty. How did you meet Evanna Lynch? Why should all women buy Kinder?

Evanna and I met through a mutual friend. We hit it off right away. She’s driven and has a heart of gold. Women should care about where and how they’re spending their money. We are powerful consumers and need to know that. By subscribing to Kinder Beauty you’re not only getting tremendous value, but you’re also supporting products that care about the well being of animals. In addition to that we donate a portion of our proceeds to our favorite animal rights and environmental organizations. With the help of our subscribers, we plan to make a huge impact in the lives of animals whilst hopefully putting an end to animal testing.

You’ve also invested in Outstanding Foods. How did you become involved with the brand? What are strategy sessions like with the company’s fellow celebrity investors?

I’ve known Chef Dave Anderson since I was about 16 years old. I dined at his restaurant Madeleine Bistro and eventually started waitressing there. I loved the hustle of waitressing in between acting, I loved being around food—I actually worked for food and tips, because I knew I could take so much away from his experience. Chef Dave is humble, kind and an absolute genius. Nothing touches his food. I remember sitting in a meeting with Dave, and Bill Glaser – our CEO, as well as lead investor, Rob Dyrdek and our PR team. We chatted for hours. I left that meeting and drove home with the biggest smile on my face. I truly believe we’re on the brink of something big, something Outstanding. Our team is loaded with strategic investors that care about the big picture – this isn’t your average food company, and I’m so grateful to be part of it.

You’re opening Sugar Taco on Melrose soon. What can we expect from the decor/menu?

The decor emulates the vibrant feeling of Mexico. Our design has such a fun and exciting vibe, anytime I speak about Sugar Taco I think about the vibe we’re creating, and the community that we imagine gathering there. We’ve created a menu with staple Mexican dishes people know and love, alongside a delicious array of desserts and a drink menu we think people are going to love! Our priority was to appeal to the widest demographic possible. Making our food organic, vegan/vegetarian friendly, inclusive of gluten free options, while maintaining traditional tastes and textures, we plan to meet the growing demand for healthier options while not pushing away consumers that adhere to the more standard American diet.

Photo Credit: Cameron Rad

You’re recently engaged—congratulations! What kind of vegan fare are you planning on having at your wedding?

Thank you! We aren’t planning a wedding anytime soon, but when we do the food will be a main priority.

Have you made your fiancé plant-based as well? Why or why not? How, if so?

Andrew calls himself a “conscious eater’. He went from being a meat eater to nearly 100% plant-based. Much like anyone, they have to decide to make this lifestyle change for themselves. He’s incredibly open-minded and supportive of me and my passion for vegansim which is what helps me stay focused on my goals. He’s also become a pretty good cook. He often creates meals that I would’ve never thought of – we make a great team.

What upcoming acting projects do you have in the pipeline, or are you focused on being a power woman at the moment?

I think ultimately I’ll end up back on TV – sitcom is my sweet spot and feeds my creative soul! Right now, in order to scale these companies, I’m investing a lot of time and energy. It feels right and I’m excited about the future.

How are you living your best life?

Working out, playing with my dogs, experiencing new things, and spending time with loved ones truly make me my happiest. I’ve learned that balance is so important, and although having big dreams is important, sometimes stopping to appreciate the little things is what life is all about.