Businesswoman María de la Vega left her job in fashion and luxury to focus on her passion for cooking. She started out making cupcakes for friends and now she employs about twenty people. She has just launched her brand of healthy gourmet products for those who like to eat well but want to take care of themselves.
- GASTRO Invernadero Vegan District, the 100% ‘plant based’ restaurant of a fashion expert DJ
- ZEST This restaurant has its own nutritionist and claims to offer dishes with half the calories
Many times the best stories happen by chance. The enthusiastic Mara de la Vega (Alcobendas, 1986) turned her life around 180 degrees and left her career in fashion and the luxury to undertake a catering thanks to his hobby for preparing healthier cakes.
“We have always been a family of gluttons and enjoyers,” re. His mother instilled in him that passion for cooking. She was a phenomenal cook but she didn’t like sweets at all, so to take off that monkey with dessert but to take something homemade I started to make cookies and biscuits silly.
BOXES WITH CARE
However, after graduating in Law and ADE (acronym for Business Administration and Management) from the Autonomous University of Madrid, her business soul led her to make some cards. “I used to give away my well-presented little boxes. I was embarrassed to sell them to anyone. But I left my phone inside and, one day, that person came who called me with a more ambitious request.” A christening with lots of snacks. And word of mouth, or better, bite by bite, from those initial nerves so that everything was well calculated to a team of twenty people feeding parties with cooking “where nothing is processed and everything is done by hand”Explain.
One day his father asked him to ride the cojobar. “I answered: What is that? And he told me: ‘A hell of a bar'”. The first experiment was in a small family house that they fixed, with the idea that it was a gastronomic club. “I prepared a surprise menu and went out with my jacket to give service. People repeated because it was like a clandestine restaurant, so they came back again with other friends or different family members to show it to them.”
It was like doing a culinary master’s degree, he remembers. “In the beginning, they hire you mostly acquaintances for weekend events. I had a great time cooking and I also combined it with my daily work. In a law firm and the world of fashion with Loewe. Luckily I didn’t have a partner !” he jokes. He hardly had any free time. “It was like a hobby, I enjoyed it.”
Little by little it grew until it reached its own coquettish establishment on Calle Lagasca, which has now moved to Juan Bravo, already converted into a lamerestaurant, just as his father aspired. It has more space, in fact, it’s packed with tables acquired in antique shops from the south of France and on the roof hangs an upside down canoe where I used to sail as a child. Precisely with his father, who has decorated the room with his works of art. “We sailed on the Bidasoa, it filled with water and we drained it, it is very special to have it here.” There is also a terrace to recreate that oasis of her first event house.
HEALTHY GOURMET PRODUCTS
All the legs into which this business with soul is divided bear his hyphenated surname: VE-GA. “I grew up a lot in quarantine, like everyone else delivery”. Their boxes, prepared with such care, appeared in all the Instagram accounts. And although she has nothing to do with the vegan world, despite the name, she has also launched a line of gourmet products designed to give them options and as a special gift. “Seeds is aimed at all people who like to take care of themselves, who are more demanding of good nutrition. They do not eat refined flour or sugar… It can be a whim or a solution as a detail for vegetarians, vegans, those who go to the gym …”.
The most beautiful thing about your dedication is that each event becomes a challenge. “I’m like a Jiminy Cricket who is always designing. The more difficult they make it for me, the more I like it.” Many times people are not aware of everything that is behind. “The transfers of all my beach bar to a place, setting everything up and then picking it up can become exhausting and it is not valued as much”. At first she forgot things and that taught her to be resolute. His uniforms are trendy. “I do not identify with the cofiasI buy from entrepreneurs like me and my base is traditional cuisine with a twist”.