One year in the life of a vegan restaurant in a tiny Andalusian village.
How did you end up in Árchez?
This is the question that we have probably been asked the most!
Our story started in 2014 when we went vegan and after some research, we have started to live and thrive on a whole-food plant-based diet. We were always fruit lovers but since the diet change we have started to consume bigger quantities of fruit and learn about its benefits: why is fruit-heavy diet good for you? How to find the best fruit? How and when should you eat them etc. Our research led us to Thailand as this was supposed to be the place where you can find the best quality exotic fruit.
Everything started in Chiang Mai (North of Thailand) where we found the best fruit and we also discovered each other (but this topic is probably better for a separate blog post ;)
Over the next two months, our days were spent exploring the new textures and flavours of the tastiest fruit we have ever tried before. The king of fruit – Durian, various varieties of bananas, local pineapples and papaya, Thai mangoes, dragonfruit, longan and many others.
Saturated with new flavours we embarked on a new journey cycling through South Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. And what a journey it was! Waking up every day not knowing what the final destination will be, was the best feeling ever.
After returning from Asia our minds were geared towards trying to find a similar paradise but closer to home. Somewhere with a mild Mediterranean climate, close to the mountains that we love but also near the sea with the best fruit quality in Europe.
Again we have decided to commence on a new journey. On a dark, cold December night we have packed everything we had into the biggest van we owned and we ventured into the unknown.
We have decided to come to the south of Spain without knowing the language or anybody there and without the slightest idea about where we will live.
Our senses have led us to the lovely village of Competa ( we have heard about it before). We stayed there for 2 weeks and eventually settled in a villa in the countryside between Archez and Salares.
Having a lot of time on our hands we started to think about what we could do here. As we always enjoyed cooking we considered setting up a food stall at the local market, but someone told us that we’d better open a restaurant. We´ve never thought about that before but after some time considering the pros and cons, we have decided to do it!
And this is how the ‘Meson Mudejar Vegan’ had started.
Banana hall at the Muang Mai Market, Chiang Mai
Jackfruit stall at JJ Market, Chiang Mai
Our friend Lucky Clucky in the restaurant in Kampot, Cambodia
What have we learned and achieved in a year?
- we have inspired many people to change their eating habits, many went vegan or plant-based; others keep experimenting with adding more plant-based meals to their weekly menust skills are. Thinking about the future it will be very interesting to see how much more we will learn and grow. Below are some thoughts that we feel we should share with you guys:
- our customers have helped us save many animal lives as we have served over 1,000 vegan meals throughout the year
- we have inspired many people to try vegan food for the very first time and they have discovered the whole new world of flavours and food combinations
- we have joined a very small community here in southern Spain and have been accepted and liked by the locals; we love everybody here too Jbased meals to their weekly menus
- we have learned a lot ourselves and we keep growing every day; we started specialising in vegan cakes, we now know how to run a restaurant business; our customers help us improve our services every single day with their positive and negative feedback
- we have met many interesting people that have enriched our world, the amount of fascinating conversations that we had here in the restaurant is incredible!
- we have joined a very small community here in southern Spain and have been accepted and liked by the locals; we love everybody here too!
- we have learned how to work together and run a business as a couple and at the same time as business partners
- we have learned how to manage our time effectively while running our own business and keeping the work-life balance
One of the undiscovered places not far from Archez
Our plans for future
We love to serve delicious, vegan, plant-based food to our customers and we want to continue to do so. Our restaurant is growing every day as more people are discovering us and the village of Árchez.
Our main focus for the coming months and years are our beautiful, rustic rooms that we would like to have occupied by like-minded people who enjoy the peace and tranquillity of a small mountain village. We would like to offer holidays for cyclists and walkers who could actively enjoy the nearby natural park and its winding roads and tracks.