Bakd&Raw Turns 2 - Can You Believe It?
I am a little bit in shock how fast time goes by. It feels like yesterday when I prepped my very first post on my self-built Wordpress site - no idea where this will take me. Two years in, I have my own company set-up legally, have my first clients on a retainer contract and a clear strategy in mind on how to become a full-time entrepreneur in 2021 ( which btw is happening very very soon!)
In this post though, I'd like to take you down memory lane and share with you how my idea of building a brand centered around the beauty, passion and goodness (health) of plant-rich home cooking came to life. Besides, I will share some of my key highlights of the past year with you and end the post with my special "2 years Bakd&Raw birthday recipe".
But let's start from the beginning: It all started on a beautiful veranda in Monterrey, Mexico...
If you saw the two previous images including the menu highlighting "Betabel", "Calabaza" and "Coliflor" , you know I wasn't in Germany when I came up with the glorious idea for "Bakd&Raw". I was in Mexico, pretty far up north in a city called Monterrey. There I had studied for a semester during my Tech-Business Master's program and had fallen in love with papaya and avocado trees, Tacos, Jicama, Chilaquiles and all the other plant-rich foods and dishes that form part of the super proud Mexican food culture. I knew, I had to stay in this magical place longer than my six months study program allowed me to. So I decided to return to this magical place right after graduation.
But then, after one week back in Mexico, the unfortunate (or "fortunate" reflecting over it today) happened: I got bit by a Mosquito which transmitted "Dengue" to me. I felt paralyzed for weeks and the worst part of it all - I had no idea what was wrong with me. I was bound to my bed, couldn't move my arms or legs, felt incredible nauseous and had the strongest headache I ever had in my life. After a week, I also started to feel disillusioned about my state of being. It was far from how I had imagined to kickstart my career. For the first time in my life, I LITERALLY couldn't do anything but rest and reflect.
Here I need to insert a little background story about myself: Up until I ended up in Mexico, I had spent years "successfully studying" a business degree without even a slight idea of what to do with this degree after all. I worked a lot in various side jobs and put immense energy in whatever I was doing at that present moment at university. Though, nothing had caught a spark inside me and I was clueless where to put all my talent after graduation. Therefore, being bound to a bed in Mexico was boon and bane all at once. For the first time ever, I had to face myself and ask me: "What do you like Karo and what are you passionate about?"
After I had read the 20th cook book, the 100th food journal, food blog 359 and slowly started to feel better, I traded in my bed for the kitchen. There, I started to experiment with whatever I found. I basically spent months in the kitchen creating recipes with every unknown tropical veggie I found. And slowly but surely I realized what I wanted - to work with plant foods, cook, food style, recipe develop, photograph, design, form a company, run a blog and share my endless love for veggies, whole grains & nutritious "superfoods"!
Is it a year or two years now? Well..the story is super duper long and better fits into a video format than a blog post. Technically it's two years but since I ran Bakd&Raw as a post-office side project during the first year, we could also see it as a "first year into Bakd&Raw business".
After I returned from Mexico with a clear goal in mind - build my own company centered around the love for Plant-Based Whole Foods - I first started working in a Munich-based Food Start-Up where I basically got familiar with the start-up 101s and the entrepreneurship essentials. From there, it took until last March (March 2020), when I decided it was the right time to quit this full-time job and drive Bakd&Raw forward. I made Bakd&Raw my prio A, accepted a job as a secretary to pay my Munich living costs and took a deep-dive into solo-entrepreneurship. In retrospect, this job was the absolute right move for me personally as it saved me from classic solo-entrepreneur "money worries" and led me to exactly where I am today - fully equipped to go 100% entrepreneurship (which by the way - is happening very very soon! :))
If you're curious what happened throughout the past years, my warmest recommendation is to take a look at my New Year's / 2020 review post. In this post I went into detail on what happened throughout 2020 and even included a list of goals I have set for 2021.
Besides, a skim through my Instagram profile or just a brief look over the photos I added to this post will give you an idea of my founder's story.
Lastly - and the most important thing for me to say before I end this little story down the memory lane is - I am beyond excited you are here and as excited about this "back-to-the roots veggie revolution" as I am with endless meals full of flavor, goodness and beauty!
I feel beyond grateful for the support and love I received from the people I lived with in Mexico. The moment I felt better, they gave me the opportunity to work with and learn from the most incredible Mexican home cooks and professional chefs. - And I mean how dreamy was that place overall? I was literally sitting with the cushions and the cozy white blanket on the rocking bench you see in the image above when I worked on typing up the recipes the Mexican chefs had shared with me. There, I also built my first Wordpress blog.
Yep! I built the first version of the blog myself - which went live two years ago today. Happy Bakd&Raw Birthday!!! - I bet, we would all have a good laugh today, if I still had the link to the post live. Unfortunately (or fortunately :)) I don't as we changed the platform provider last year and did a complete site-overhaul last year. - And I truly admit at this point. The website is the very first thing I outsourced to someone else who is more talented than I am when it comes to web development.
Yayyyy, now to the fun part - the birthday recipe! What would a birthday be without a proper festive meal? This year, I decided to go back to the roots and super "Classic Mexican" with one of my favorite Mexican recipes in this world "A Classic Mexican Tortilla Soup". Because who needs cake anyways? No just kidding. I love cake but the world of savory Mexican dishes is so delicious that I must start sharing some of my favorites with you as soon as possible. So if you like tomatoes and spices, this tomato-rich, cilantro topped, tortilla infused and avocado creamed soup is yours. Check it out here.
I hope you enjoyed this little read on my personal story into entrepreneurship. I would love to hear your story as well. What are your dreams? Are you working on turning them into reality and how did you stumble across Bakd&Raw? Comment below, sent me a DM and share your Mexican food creations with me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.
Love and Plants, Karo