All About Vegan Food is now opening this special space for vegan chronicles of Brazilian baker and writer Juliana Sayuri
As I prepare a presentation to this event “Food Revolution Day” at a vegetarian cafe in Rio, to which I was invited to give a talk about my business, I decided to write down a few words and send it to All About Vegan Food hoping it will be the first among many pieces of writings where I’m gonna tell all about my being a vegan experience.
My name is Juliana and together with my mother Regina we’ve opened the first vegan bakery in Rio almost a year ago and it’s been great, stressful and rewarding altogether. But going back a bit, I’m neither a baker, nor a manager and that is what becoming vegan did to my life.
Veganism entered my life about one and a half year ago. At that time I was finishing my Masters in Feminism and Nihilism in Scotland and had to come back to Rio until the start of my PhD. With nothing to do, far from my husband, who stayed in the UK, I was living with my mum, who happens to be an awesome cook. All I wanted was cake, my favorite thing on Earth, then I challenged my mum, who isn’t vegan, to bake me vegan cakes.
So, what a mum wouldn’t do to please their daughters and sons is the starting point to our story. At first, the cakes were good, dashing towards awesomeness, so I took one of my mum’s vegan cakes to a friend of mine who happened at the time to be starting her vegan delivery business also in Rio. She told me we had to sell it and without noticing I was already taking the biggest U-turn ever in my life. But hold on.
Since it was my mother’s dream to have her own cooking business, we agreed that I’d set the vegan business cake for her and when time to go back to the UK came, she’d take it over. And of course when time came, I told both my husband and supervisor I was not to go back. What made me stay? 2 things: First, I was in love with our cakes, and second, I sensed that what I called the “Vegan Spring” was about to arrive in Brazil and I would not miss it for nothing in this world.
A few days ago (May 11th) it was Mother’s Day in Brazil and I dedicate my first writing to Regina-San. We’ve been through thin and thick, right now we’re in the middle of moving/renovating our new kitchen, but never stopped baking. There’s loads to come and as we hear in the streets of Rio in the recent waves of protests: “tomorrow it’s gonna be bigger”.