End of April 2020 - Covid 19 has spread like wildfire across the globe. With every day it is becoming more apparent that it will never be the same, regardless of how quickly we find the vaccine or recover financially. Our mentality is already changing, and we begin to appreciate the most basic things in life – human interaction, at home and at work. Our closest relationships and their meaning. Our relationship with nature and the outside world, especially for those who do not have a garden or easy access to a park or cannot leave their homes at all. We begin revaluating our whole existence and purpose in life.
For us it was a huge test of our relationship with my partner. Less than 5 months together and already forced to live under the same roof, and 24h a day to that. Normally a big challenge for long and happy marriages, let alone a brand new couple. On top of that my position was furloughed within the first few days so it meant we were facing even more uncertainty and lack of clarity of what the future might bring, or how to even think about it.
In our case the outcome was a positive surprise. We fought, but it lead to increased support for one another. We disagreed but realized how much we care for each other. I am a true believer in a silver lining and it couldn’t more accurate than in this instance. All of the sudden my brain started going back to my teenage years when nothing seemed impossible and the world was my stage. However, without a job nor any savings in my bank account, how do I even begin dreaming about my professional career in the current market place.
We both decided to take things step by step. Enjoy the fact that we have somebody to talk to, go for a walk with or cook dinner together. Cook dinner together… Yes, we cooked and baked like there was no tomorrow. At least we fully knew where our covid bellies were coming from! My mind kept on going back to the night I cooked for Come Dine With Me In Isolation Experience. What I enjoyed the most about that evening, was the fact that all my hard work, preparation over few days and tasting trials really paid off. I used to work in the hospitality industry but never really wanted to work in the kitchen, yet as a chef. But maybe things change, or maybe the places I worked at didn’t have the right environment. Regardless, I started to warm up to the idea. Plus, what a better time to try it out than when at home with a fully equipped large kitchen, 24h a day, 7 days a week.
I decided to share my thoughts with Vini and he immediately thought it was a great idea. Seeing his eagerness and feeling the support already put me few steps forward and made me realize that the world is in fact my stage and that with the right people around you can achieve anything.
We both sat down and brainstormed – what, where, how… Vegetarian fine dining was our first and obvious choice. But how to start? And on a very low budget? The idea floated in our heads for a bit, we did some competitor research and scribbled down ideas for kickstarting the business:
> organizing fine dining experiences in our apartment,
> renting out unusual spaces for the experiences,
> delivering and hosting the experiences at our customers’ homes,
We were on fire. Very quickly we agreed that we have to be forward thinking, environmentally friendly, sustainable, ecological. And these are inspirations form our daily lives, not just some research. Both of us consider ourselves good citizens of the planet, recycling and preaching it to all our friends and family, opting for trusted and fully transparent products, researching better behaviours and generally being conscious of reducing our footprint. From that moment we made it our personal mission to do even more and grow and develop alongside our potential business idea.
It didn’t take long for us to decide that not only we should be a vegetarian business but aim to be vegan, fully plant based. However, taking things step by step lets start by dropping meat and work towards dropping animal products altogether in the future…
Few hours later and the hunger kicked in, especially after all this thinking. Using our now favourite mode of transport, we cycled to our local shop. On the second junction I screamed: “vegan and vegetarian, V&V!” Not too creative, I know, but I followed by: “crossed V’s”. Two V’s standing for Vegan & Vegetarian, but also the initials of our names, Vini & Wiktor – crossed V. However, V&V sounds like B&Q or T&T, nobody wants to go to a garden or mobile store to enjoy a nice bite to eat. Quick thinking and we swapped ‘&’ to an ‘e’ which in Portuguese has the exact same meaning, plus, who wouldn’t want to visit ‘VeV’ for an incredible food experience!?
That's how 'VeV' was born.