Welcome to this brand new column in which I will interview wellness seeking women who I think will inspire you.
I am super happy to launch this series this week with an interview from Helga, co-founder of the restaurant Burgreens in Jakarta. I first met Helga- and her partner in life and business, Max- when I visited their restaurant a few months back. Excited to discover that Jakarta finally had a healthy, vegetarian restaurant, I couldn’t wait to check the place of this young couple out.
The food was delicious and the setting peaceful, rounded off by a lovely conversation with Helga and Max (finally, some people who could relate to my plant-based, healthy lifestyle!).
Helga and Max then came along to one of my Uncooking 101 classes where I got to know them a little more, and by the end of the class I was totally in awe of this enigmatic pair. When I decided to start running Wellness Seeker Wednesday I instantly knew I wanted to get Helga on board as our first interviewee.
Read on below to find out more about Helga….
What made you decide to open a vegetarian/vegan cafe/restaurant?
I had so many diseases when I was 14 and constantly on medication since I was child. I then decided to stop taking medication and became vegetarian and started incorporating some raw food in my diet.
When I met Max back in the Netherlands, he was converting to be a vegetarian and volunteering in a raw food restaurant. Over the years we worked in Amsterdam, we felt a strong desire to share what we’ve learned there – conscious eating & living. We want to increase awareness about how eating organic & local plant-based food directly affects people’s health, animal welfare and the environment.
What do you love most about running this business?
Meeting like-minded and passionate guests in restaurants, getting to collaborate with some of our biggest inspirations, and spending time with our amazing team!
What is the question that you get asked the most by patrons?
Why did you decide to be vegetarian and how could you stick with it for so long? Do you miss meat? And why did you open it in a remote location? (We are quite idealistic about wanting to establish our first store in a green area).
What are you most proud of, and why?
We’re quite proud to be one of the pioneers in organic healthy vegetarian & raw vegan restaurant in Jakarta, and is now evolving together with our customers.
In the beginning it was so challenging because the market wasn’t ready yet for raw vegan menu. Awareness about healthy and organic food has just started. That’s why we started by introducing “friendly-taste” for healthy eater beginners. As our customers are becoming more and more open to healthy food, we could slowly introduce them to a raw vegan menu.
What piece of advice do you have for people who are starting to eat healthier?
Just start! Most people know about healthy food, but are afraid to take the first step because of the social pressure and fear that you won’t be able to enjoy life. And it’s actually the other way around! When you start eating healthy and feel all the benefits, you can never go back 🙂
Smoothies or juice?
I like smoothie better, Max loves green juice.
What has been your biggest challenge in setting up Burgreens
Finding qualified human resources.
What is your favourite recipe/ or item on your menu?
Ours is Burgreens Salad with Sambal Matah
What do you do to relax?
Meditate, get a good massage, or getting away to nature!
What are you working on now? / What is happening in the next 12 months for Burgreens?
We’re currently expanding the team and training all our staff. In the near future, we’ll be starting cleansing/alkalising catering to educate people about its importance and how to do it right.
Thanks Helga for being the first Wellness Seeker Wednesday interviewee! I hope you enjoy this new series and let me know if you have any Wellness Seeking women who you would like me to interview!
Burgreens is located at Jl. Flamboyan no 19, Rempoa, Jakarta Selatan. Call +628788 200 5070.