This week, we are launching our Interview Series. A collection of short interviews with vegan & eco-friendly businesses from around the world.
The idea is to put the spotlight on small, local businesses and introduce them to those who live a vegan lifestyle. In this day and age, it is increasingly difficult for a small, local business to stand out and be seen. And we are all missing out, because there is so much creativity in the vegan business world.
As the market-share for vegan businesses grows, with so many people curious about the cruelty-free (r) lifestyle, its important to give the platform to family-run, local businesses over large, investor-backed entities.
So, this is the first of the series, a quaint hotel nestled in the Italian village of San Ponzo that caters to and promotes a vegan lifestyle.
If you could, introduce us to your vegan inn.
The inn “La cena di Pitagora”, a small restaurant and two bedrooms,
“La cena di Pitagora” is located in San Ponzo, a small village close to Ponte Nizza (PV), in Oltrepò Pavese.
The inn, whose name originates from the title of Erica Joy Mannucci’s book aims at promoting healthy vegan food in respect of the animals and the environment.
“La cena di Pitagora” is placed in a typical farmhouse of the early twentieth century, partially renovated, where you can breath an atmosphere of old times. The building overlooks a gravel courtyard with its garden and vegetable patch surrounded by large brick planters, above which a pergola provides shade in the hot summer days. The cozy hall hosts the activities of the association, which will include courses, lectures, debates, book presentations.
A small, but very rich library is available to those who want to read and take information on cooking, vegetarian and vegan food and, in general, on animal welfare and ecological issues . The spaces of the inn are the ideal venue for small conferences, receptions, parties, cocktails, and vegan buffets. Even small groups that carry out activities in line with the spirit of the association, such as yoga sessions, meditation, shiatsu, etc …, will find at “La cena di Pitagora” a suitable place in “La stanza dell’Olmo”, the former barn, which has been renovated. The farm also hosts a B&B, offers its guests two quiet rooms with private bathroom and private entrance overlooking the flowery courtyard. for those who want to spend a few days of idleness among the hills of the Staffora valley.
How old is your business?
Who are your customers? What kind of people, age-group are you seeing most interest from?
Our customers are mainly neither vegetarian or vegans but they appreciate our cuisine that draws on traditional Italian cuisine revisited in a vegan key.
How old is your average customer?
How was your business affected by the quarantine period of the pandemic? What measures did you take to keep afloat? How is your business now that we are re-opening?
We have not been affected by the covid crisis (for now). Our reopening, preceded by the delivery that we offered to our customers during the forced closure, led however to reopen with several the same number of customers as before by virtue of the fact also that our restaurant is very small
In your country, how do you perceive the local vegan & eco-friendly market, in terms of business and how do you see the local consumer?
Over the years our vegan cuisine has been increasingly appreciated over time. We are in an area that we call the “homeland of salami” so not in a city where of course it is easier to offer vegan cuisine
Give us a little background about your country and how veganism is perceived. Is there a cultural clash? Does local media give space to the vegan lifestyle in news channels, lifestyle channels, magazines, etc? Do local celebrities promote veganism?
In recent years having local newspapers have talked about us. With interviews, reports and anchje with news reports. On paper and on the web. Our reality is rather particular.
What tools do you use to reach out to your customers?
For the local vegan consumer, can you give us a little background on the local vegan scene. Do major supermarkets, for example, in your country offer a good array of vegan products on their shelves?
About twenty km from us there is a shop with organic and vegan products but nothing else Our purchases come from local producers and through orders on the web
Can you give us a little background about your personal journey as a vegan? How long have you been a vegan? Why did you choose to adopt veganism?
After having been vegetarians for years (about 20) for a few years we have become vegan for solely and exclusively ethical reasons.
What drove you to open a vegan business? And what difficulties, if any, did you come across to achieve your objective?
We decided for ourselves. And obviously the biggest difficulty was to propose vegan cuisine in a territory of meat and salami.
I would like to thank Maria and Davide for participating our our Interview Series. They are ready to welcome you to La Cena di Pitagora for a quaint, quiet getaway hidden in the village of San Ponzo. Learn more about their vegan inn here. And follow them on Facebook page or Instagram