February 20 is the anniversary of Eat Your Microgreens (among other names which did not make it). 2 years from that day was when I registered my first business at the KvK (Business Commerce) in Amsterdam, and what a ride it continues to be!
Back in Feb 2020, which I thought of as a very hopeful month; I had quit my job that month to focus on my dream of creating the change I wish to see with respect to food in our cities. I decided to dive completely into it focusing primarily on restaurants. But had a bit of bad luck; as little did I know Covid-19 was around the corner.
Nevertheless, Feb 20, is when I made it official that I was going to enter the world of microgreens and growing food from seeds to fee local population. This is would drastically cut down on such much transportation km, carbon emissions, and unnecessary transfers of goods. The world of food and commerce is chaotic. So why not design simplicity and start a company that can develop practical and scalable food production system. The question of what to grow came to mind. At the end plants naturally grew all around me but not fungi so the choice became microgreens.
(Fun fact: The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, microgreens do actually make the perfect food option).
After Covid-19 what’s next?
Since my main customer base was the Horeca or hospitality industry, I was forced to go into ‘R&D mode’. I began collecting and sowing different types of organic seeds with different growing lights, vertical racks, growing techniques, and more. I was fascinated with the ability to grow so much nutritious food in such a small amount of space (a 20sqm room at the time). As long as the environmental parameters were better controlled, I was able to determine and over time improve the quality and availability of variety of microgreens.
The year 2020, I continued growing what I could do best both inside and outside (to full mature stages and microgreens). I even started pressure cooking my own grains to grow mushrooms from spores. There was so much that I wanted to try to grow locally. There was a lot more that I could discover by testing but I knew that I also needed to survive of it. For that reason, I decided to explore the world both the world of plants and fungi.
Enter Aan de Poel
Fast forward to June 2021, I started my relationship with restaurant Aan de Poel. I was given the opportunity to work with the best chefs in the entire country. And boy, what a ride it has been!
I am not sure of the main reason why I decided on reserving our first dinner date at Aan de Poel around Feb 20, 2022 but my gut told me to make a Saturday reservation and enjoy a lavish night out for a change. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I used the back door to deliver like all the other employees. At the same time, I never would have imagined such great artistry, creation, and flavors on the other side of the kitchen I deliver to.
It was a magical night to say the least. We had a lovely table overseeing the kitchen. I was able to make eye contact with the kitchen. My face was amazed by each work of art (pictures speak for themselves).
The fact that I was able to identify the food that was on my plate to my delivery from earlier was such a thrill. I harvested, packaged, and hand delivered everything in the late morning in time for the weekends lunch and dinner menus.
All in all, it truly has been honor to work with talented cooks and chefs, such as Chef Sander from Aan de Poel and many others. In short, being part of the full circle really makes it all worthwhile. As a bonus I was even able to taste my own EYM chimichurri sauce served at the top Michelin star restaurant in the Amsterdam area:). I mean what more do you need after that!
Thanks to Alejandro and Maria for accompanying us during our dinner as partial guests. You guys always know how to have a good time :).
Let’s keep growing more microgreens 🙂