Rashena Burroughs is the Queen of Clean Cuisine

Most people make a conscious effort to become a vegetarian or a vegan. Rashena Burroughs says she’s been vegan since birth.

“I was the only kid in my family who didn’t drink milk,” she says of being lactose intolerant her entire life. She was also “that kid in the house advocating for the animals. People laughed that I would get a ‘cheeseburger—hold the burger and hold the cheese’ in the Happy Meal.”

Fast forward a few decades and the Summit-born, East Orange–raised Burroughs, 51, now owns and operates five vegan and health-based businesses—all in her adopted home of Newark. She’s often called a serial entrepreneur, and the label is certainly appropriate. With Blueberry Café Juicebar & Vegan Grille, The Zucchini Bar Herbal Teas & Treats, Aqua Phit Water Bar and Luxury Gym, and even Magic Cones Plant Based Ice Cream Parlor all opening in the last five years, along with her newest endeavor, Plants & Poets Café, you might expect her to display at least a few signs of strain. Instead, she is positively radiant, seeming much younger than her years—a walking advertisement for the healthy, vegan lifestyle promoted in all of her businesses.