MEET THE MAKER: SARUTTAYA FROM CHEF NA'S PLANT-BASED KITCHEN
Meet the Maker: Saruttaya Lakchai (Na, Co-founder + Chef) & Francis Dams Konkol (Frankie, Co-founder +Director) from Chef Na's Plant-Based Kitchen
How long has your business been operating?
We have been operating since November 2016, and officially selling our range as of November 2017.
That will make this year, our third year!
What do you make and create? Is your product ethical, vegan, unique/different in any way?
I am a Thai vegan chef, and with Frankie, we have created a range of organic products (largely aromatic & herbaceous Thai curry pastes) that has something for everyone, and it was all born with ethics in-mind: we took one whole year searching for the right agricultural setting, for as vegans, we could only accept farms that are, first & foremost - vegan/cruelty-free, and secondly - organic. These aspects of our business, coupled with the avoidance of MSG, and the creation of our very unique coconut products (coconut flower sugar, coconut paste, & coconut flower nectar) make for quite a different brand identity. We didn't want to compete with other curries; we wanted to recreate Thai curry so that the taste provides maximum enjoyment & traditional taste, without guilt, without the need to thoroughly check labels & ingredients lists, and we also would never use ingredients we wouldn't consume.
How "hands on" to the creation of your products are you?
I created the recipes behind our culinary creations, but we use an organic & vegan farm in Thailand for our products, for many authentic Thai ingredients are just not available here, or may not grow so easily in the Australian climate.
Tell me about the person you are in everyday life? (where you live, kids, family, activities?)
My partner and I have massive garden to grow our own veggies. We love gardening, travelling, cooking and reading! We consider ourselves to be forever-students and hold a big love for food and living a vegan lifestyle.
Tell me about the space you work in to create your products and why you love to create your products?
We develop our products from our humble professional home based kitchen, we started the business from the perspective of health-conscious, vegan consumers - as we are still vegan customers, still enjoy finding new and delectable products.
What are your short term goals?
The short term goal is to supply enough stockists with our range so that our customers have the convenience of buying somewhere local and close to home, without having to wait until one of our events and without having to rely-on online orders.
What are your long term goals?
The long term goal is to have national & international stockists - we would love nothing more than for vegan products flood the shelves of boutique and also conventional stores alike, ensuring people readily have cruelty-free, vegan & organic products available, everywhere!
What do you love about the Mermaid Sorority Markets?
We love bringing our products to the people, to see and try. Explaining the ingredients and how to incorporate them into everyday meals and creations.