About one mile west of the Mississippi River stands Trio Restaurant—a 100 percent plant-based eatery in downtown Cape Girardeau.

Yvonne Randolph and Laura Schumpert, friends since 2017, opened Trio in July 2019, when the lack of vegetarian fare in Cape inspired them.

“We had a line out the door as soon as we opened and had a great turnout for the rest of the day as well,” Laura says. Since its opening, business has been booming for Trio, with countless customers dropping in daily to check out the establishment’s mouthwatering dishes—from cauliwings smothered in buffalo sauce to barbecue jackfruit tacos to a deconstructed sushi bowl with seasoned rice, avocado, cucumber, tempura sweet potatoes, carrots, red cabbage, and sriracha mayo.

“We sell the sushi bowl everyday, so people love that,” Laura says. “They’ll come back and back every day for lunch for that and the cauliflower wings. Everybody just loves those, too.” Trio makes everything fresh daily.

Trio is clean and bright, with wood floors and white walls. A colorful mural reading “Smile, It’s Trio Time!” greets guests upon arrival. Trio’s menu items are grouped into threes under eight categories, including starters, sandwiches, and mains. Even the drink menu, which features Frescas, iced teas, and hot teas, is divided into threes. There’s also a brunch menu, plus a menu for kids featuring the vegan product chick’n and waffles, alfredo pasta, and build-your-own nachos.

Laura Schumpert (left) and Yvonne Randolph. Photo by Elizabeth Enochs.

Perhaps unintentionally, Trio’s simple aesthetic and straight-forward menu reflects Laura and Yvonne’s philosophy of focusing on everything that Trio offers instead of highlighting what it doesn’t: animal-derived ingredients.

“We’re all about using plants, exploring different flavors, so that’s really where we’re at. We’re just all about the food,” Laura says.

Laura and Yvonne estimate that 80 percent of their customers aren’t vegan or vegetarian, just curious eaters. “I don’t think they probably identify as anything, and they’ll come in because the food’s good—and that’s what I want,” Laura says. Trio hosts diners from St. Louis to Tennesse, and beyond, with some regulars driving over an hour and a half on weekends just to eat their favorite meal. “We actually had somebody who drove from St. Louis to make a pit stop here and then was driving over near Eminence—so it was not on the way—but they found us on the internet and really wanted to come eat the food,” Yvonne says.

When she first went vegan, Yvonne says she felt uncomfortable in restaurants like Trio. “I don’t think I even knew how to pronounce quinoa at the time,” she says. It’s why she and Laura work to make Trio as welcoming as possible to people from all walks of life. “We want people to try the plant-based food, you know? And we don’t want it to be intimidating to them.”

Open Tuesdays–Sundays 10:30 AM to 8 PM • 1027 Broadway, Cape Girardeau • TrioRestaurantCape.com