Rising Star Restaurateur Nicole Marquis of HipCityVeg - Biography

Philadelphia, PA

March 2019

Nicole Marquis grew up in Elkins Park, a northern Philadelphia suburb. She worked in restaurants throughout college and graduate school, studying communications and drama at Temple University and then California Institute of the Arts. But it wasn’t until after reading The China Study, a comprehensive nutrition survey published in 2004, that Marquis decided to devote herself fully to the food industry. She became vegan and made it her mission to live a more mindful life for her body and the planet. After her father was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, Marquis helped him adopt a plant-based diet, showing her dad that vegan food could be both healthy and satisfying.


In 2012, after years of developing and tweaking a business plan and searching for the right investors, Marquis opened HipCityVeg, a 100 percent plant-based fast-casual concept in Philadelphia. She has since expanded to four locations in the Philly area and one in Washington, D.C., with the goal of opening 35 during the next five years. Marquis wants to HipCityVeg to feed diners in cities including New York, Boston, Miami, and Chicago, spreading the message of craveable and sustainable vegan food to the masses. She also runs the Latin-inspired vegan eatery Bar Bombon, based on her mother’s Puerto Rican recipes, as well as vegan cocktail lounge Charlie Was a Sinner.