Seven years ago, I started Manic Organic. Back then we were still in the financial crisis, and every initiative that had to do with organic was directly associated with expensive and unnecessary. Today we cannot imagine that anymore. I believe in the essence of organic and natural food being something good, an intrinsic motivation. Natural and organic are not simply expressed in a quality mark. It is a direction you choose to follow with your organisation to make a positive impact. My vision was to take the business through several levels, from organic to sustainable, to future-proof.
Hospitality & organic food
I have always loved hospitality, and in my previous professional career I have always enjoyed the affinity with the hospitality branch of what I did. At one point I was working for a large company caterer, and due to a fusion my position was cancelled. I decided I wanted to continue working with sustainable products and organic food. That has been the starting point for establishing my company.
Another goal of mine was to make sustainability and organic something contemporary and sexy. I started a food truck concept with organic meat, Angus burgers from Brazil, then soon I “cold turkey decided” (Hence the pun!) to alter this to solely to veggie burgers and other veggie / vegan street food. To ensure a sustainable future vision, I established partnerships with ‘Stichting Natuur & Milieu’ & ‘Duurzaam Den Haag’. We were pleased to win a couple of awards with our concepts, which I am very proud of. Especially the 24-Kitchen Foodtruck Awards and the Price for most sustainable company 2016-2017.
Future proof entrepreneurship is my primary focus at the moment. This means in everything I do or plan, I try to apply a filter; Is this future resistant? Is it good for the planet, for the animals, for your environment, your health, your children… When I ask myself these questions, future-proof becomes more tangible. Organic, sustainable… Concepts that sound very promising, but are sometimes hard to translate into actions. Probably that is the reason for a certain skepticism people have towards these words. When you call it future-proof, people start to develop an image in their minds, which makes it come to life. You force people to think about their actions in daily life.
Make the right choices in daily life
If every time we do groceries, we bring our own bag, that is one plastic bag less to purchase at the store. If I put straws in the drinks I serve, do I choose plastic, or paper ones? Do I choose to serve meat? Alright, does this tasteful pasta really require an animal to die for it? Will it then really be tastier? Or can I achieve the same result using herbs? Create an amazing lasagne, chili sin carne, veggie-curry… Countless dishes that do not require meat for nutrition values, nor for taste. I try to inspire people to try new things, good things, tasteful things – while thinking about the future-filter. The only thing you need is the will and the tools to make something nice out of it.
The concept of Manic Organic is now more mature, and the future filter is completely implemented. We still produce awesome food in our food trucks, where haute-cuisine meets street food. It is a really cool challenge to ensure that we create new, creative and tasteful dishes always bearing our vision in mind, without giving up flavours.
I think it is a great challenge to always keep inventing ways to apply the sustainable factor in business and in life. Establishing partnerships with likeminded people, taking up new initiatives and sharing a passion.