wild and the moon

Re//Store Sisterhood: Emma Sawko from Wild & The Moon

26-06-2017

If you would ask me to describe my perfect cafe it would be an open and airy space filled with plants, cold pressed juices, superfoods smoothies, hustle and bustle in an open kitchen, all plant based dishes made with honest produce, gluten free, organic and additive free whilst being sustainable. Emma Sawko’s Wild & the Moon ticks all the boxes! Wild & The Moon is based on the simple belief that food should be good for you, good for the planet, and above all delicious. Set on Rue de Charlot in Le Marais, she created a space I could easily adapt as my second living room, if only I lived in Paris…

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Whilst we were in Paris shooting the latest Manuka Life collection I found the opportunity to meet with Emma in her cafe and talk about how it started, her journey from Paris to NYC to Dubai and back to Paris and her mission to “Eat Wise”. Missing certain healthy dishes whilst living in Dubai she decided to open Wild & The Moon. After a having lived in Dubai and New York she found herself missing her roots and decided to move back to Paris and opened the Wild & the Moon cafe here in Le Marais. There’s also a wonderful take away spot nearby rue des Gravilliers.
Next to being a leader in the world of modern wellness she has a background in fashion and is the co-founder of a beautiful concept store in Dubai called Comptoir 102. Wild & The Moon is rapidly expanding and I was thrilled to hear she is going to serve natural wine in the evenings soon. Next to the Paris and Dubai spaces she will open a New York version soon.
We hope to find you soon in London too Emma!

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She kindly let me sample some of their dishes, plant based milks and juices and I was blown away by it all. If you fancy something fresh in summer definitely try their Nice Cream, ice cream based on coconut meat, the best I’ve ever tried. I also sampled a gorgeous quinoa dish, the activated charcoal milk was smooth and divine, and the coconut chia seed water I could have on a running tap at home. I simply fell in love with this place, its mindset and vibe. Make sure you pay a visit when in Paris, Dubai or in the near future, NYC!

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How would you describe your personal style?
It’s always difficult to answer that question myself. I hear people describing me as rock/chic/boheme… this might be true. As you get older, you learn how to free yourself from what fashion dictates and wear whatever suits you, resembles you.

And the style of your company?
For Comptoir 102, the first concept store I opened in Dubai, under the palm trees, I really wanted a place that looks like home and where people feel good. I am buying design, furniture and accessories in the same way I would for my own house. So it is a mix of eclectic objects from around the world, beautiful materials, designers I love…It’s Parisian with a hint of summer vibes, and a touch of my favourite local designers.
For Wild & the Moon I wanted a place that reflected the philosophy behind the concept: 100% organic, sharing resources, respecting the planet; the result is a place using recycled materials, lots of plants for fresh air, community tables and good vibes.

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What made you decide to start Wild and The Moon? And what inspires you at the start of new recipes?
After I opened the Comptoir 102 cafe, I realised people really adhered to the idea of organic food and healthy living and I wanted to push the concept further. Bringing healthy, tasty and original food options to a wide audience is what we want to do. Wild & the Moon offers a plant based cuisine that is not only organic but fresh, local, sustainable and the mission to get a part of our profits redistributed.
When I create a recipe, I keep all this in mind, of course, but the starting point is always something that tastes good and that does good to your body.

I recently saw on your instagram you are part of this wonderful initiative Too Good to Go France, could you explain a little about this? You have the aim to be zero waste by 2020, how do you put this into process when you develop your holistic recipes?
With a few years of experience in the restaurant industry now, I am still appalled to see so much food going to the bin at the end of the day, while some people around go hungry. Because one of the aims of our restaurants is to have zero waste, we already have been implementing a few strategies to limit wastage to the maximum (by using environment friendly bio-degradable containers, recycling by-products, avoiding over-production, etc.). We are glad that the awesome initiative Too Good To Go is now part of these strategies, allowing our remaining stock to be enjoyed at a very low price by the end of the day.

In our recipes, an example of this is how we decided to use the pulp from the veggies after juicing them. This pulp is full of prebiotic fibres and still rich in enzymes, minerals and vitamins. We use it in a recipe of delicious dehydrated crackers, which preserves all its goodness and benefits.

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What is the favourite element of your job? And biggest challenge?
The creative part is what drives me most into this project. Working with creative teams, designers, architects, and developing recipes of course!
The biggest challenge is to find time. With restaurants in Paris, Dubai and soon New York, I find it hard to juggle between work and personal life. But it’s this time of my life…

What role does yoga / or other physical exercise play in your life?
It’s essential in my life and it’s how I keep my sanity! I have always been very active and need it on a daily basis. I practice Muay Thai or yoga everyday. Boxing supercharges me, yoga grounds me. I need both for balance.

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Do you practice mindfulness and in what way?
I grew up in Switzerland, surrounded by mountains, forest and a magnificent nature, and that is what I am missing most in everyday’s life. At the end of the day, I often need to retreat, let it be a walk on the beach when I am in Dubai or through the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, just before I reach home.
Nature has always been my way to let go of tension, and find my inner calm back.

What is your favourite indulgence within the world of wellness?
Time off in an eco-lodge in Sri Lanka or in Tulum, overlooking the sea, with my family.

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Where do you go when you want to find inspiration in Paris and or Dubai?
In Dubai, along the sea. Or it could be Al Serkal, an underground art scene within the industrial area. This is where we chose to open our first Wild & the Moon cafe in Dubai.
In Paris, at the Opéra for a Pina Bausch ballet. Dance was my first passion and it still carries me away.

What do you listen to at the moment?
Amy Winehouse, Frank Ocean, Nina Simone, Elle King, Ane Brune, Ben Harper.

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Could you recommend an organic / local produce cafe / restaurant in your area?
In New York, Wild & the Moon, in Paris Wild & the Moon and in Dubai, Wild & the Moon and Comptoir 102! We are working pretty damn hard to bring the best in your plate, so now looks like a good time to say it out loud! :)

Where do you go to shop for clothes / accessories?
I don’t have much time to go shopping for myself but I go shopping for the Comptoir 102 boutique. As a buyer I only select what I really love. When the orders come in I find myself unable to resist and end up buying my clothes from there too!

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And wellness / organic food / crystal shops.. any of these.
For food I cant help but thinking of my friend Elena who we are working with in Dubai. She created an organic and bio-dynamic farm, Greenheart, in the middle of the desert, in Dubai. She truly is an unsung hero.
I also love to supplement with the Sol Semilla superfood range, which are great; acai, maca, blue klamath… perfect for super-smoothies!

Who would you like to see on here in the future? (Somebody within the world of wellness / sustainability, all fields)
Two amazing women I had the chance to meet in NY and Paris:
Sandrine de Laage, a jewellery designer from N.Y.C. I am totally in love with her creations, a modern take on timelessness and true elegance. She works in partnership with Win, a New York City-based organisation that helps homeless women and their children. I think today, each and every company should think of charity and sharing as part of their business.
I would also like to see Anne Bianchi. A former journalist and chief editor for a French woman magazine, she is now a Kundalini teacher, therapist and organizes women circles, gong meditation and yoga class for women empowerment and powerful transformation.

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What is your favourite plant based / Vegetarian recipe?
My almond milk. Because it’s delicious, easy to make and a staple to my diet! I use it everyday for cooking, for my coffee, my matcha latte or in my smoothies.

Take a handful of soaked almonds, one date, a pinch of celtic salt, a hint of vanilla if you have, and throw everything in your blender. Add water (between 250 and 500 mL), blend well and pass through a sieve. You can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days. It’s delicious, light and super-easy to make, your kids will love it too!

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Thank you so much Emma for the lovely meeting and letting me sample your delicious food and drinks in Paris. I will certainly be trying out this recipe!

Interview and photos by Maaike Mekking via Re//Store @re____store

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