If you had asked me five years ago if I could imagine my future, not even in my wildest imagination would I expect to be where I am today. Although I have been vegetarian my entire life, I never saw myself passionately shaping a generation of conscious eating through a plant based diet.
I started in the fashion industry; high profile career woman and dedicated designer, I began to see my work featured with well-known brands. Unfortunately, with success came clarity, and recognition of the ethical blindness in the industry’s use of animal products overtook my desire to pursue this career path. It was this realisation that changed my life.
I moved to Brisbane in pursuit of fulfilment. I wanted to start my career afresh, be a part of something meaningful, and work hard for something that gives more than just financial stability. More than just personal gratification; something that has an impact.
Just a few weeks into my time in Brisbane, as a vegetarian, I was vexed by the lack of vegetarian eateries. Here was my niche, but I was clueless about how to go about filling it. I’m not a cook by any means, but my family’s food influence has always been a part of me. So, I took a leap of faith. I bought a small café and went with my instinct, selling food I grew up with and food I would (and did) want to eat.
I think we express so much through food. It’s the centre of everything. Food reflects care, love and honesty. It brings warmth and happiness. It builds connections and strengthens bonds. Food was at the core of my family and it was them who shaped my faith in good foods ability to change the world.
With this belief at heart I can firmly say that it is my family and family values that lie at the heart of Vege Rama. The menu design is heavily influenced by meals my family would enjoy at home. I taught myself to cook using my mother and grandmother’s recipes and techniques. They expressed a lot of love through cooking, and this attitude towards food is how Vege Rama was born.
We opened our first Vege Rama store on Queen Street in 2009. When our flourishing business indicated that many others share our food attitude, we opened a second, completely vegan store on Adelaide Street in November 2012. In 2014, we expanded again, experimenting with new ventures towards good food and good health. We opened our Vege Rama restaurant in West End, started our lunch catering service and introduced our bio-dynamic cold pressed juice range. Finally, in 2016 we opened our new store at Carindale, bringing the taste of good health to a different and vibrant community.
Reflecting on the past five years, I am humbled by how far we’ve come and inspired by how much further we are yet to go. With each day that I witness the love and compassion I share with others through food, I am grateful for my decision to stray from my original path. For everything I put into this business, I receive so much more.