Marissa Bronfman is the woman behind Bowl Bar, the new vegan food delivery service and cafe slated to launch in the city soon. From being a journalist and traveler to entrepreneur and chef, Marissa has donned many hats comfortably and switches roles effortlessly. We got her to spill the beans on what inspires her to keep going.
Tell us about your journey to Mumbai and what inspired you to stay back.
It's been a wonderful journey from coming to India as a journalist for a Huffington Post story five years ago to starting my own digital media agency in India and now working on Bowl Bar, which will be Mumbai’s only vegan cafe, dabba service and retail experience. On my first trip to India for Huffington Post I landed in Delhi and travelled all across Rajasthan, from going on a luxury tiger safari in Ranthambore to exploring palaces in Udaipur, made my way up to the Himalayas and to the banks of the Ganges in Benares. It was an incredible three-week adventure and as soon as I returned home I knew I was meant to live in India. It's been five years since I packed my bags and moved to Mumbai with my dog Roxy. I feel very grateful that I've had the opportunity to explore so much of this beautiful country, both for work and pleasure.
I am also very happy that I chose to move to Bombay, it's an incredible city full of energy, magic and entrepreneurial spirit.
Tell us about MoxieMedia and the work you do.
Moxie Media is a boutique digital media agency that has worked with some of the country's top lifestyle and hospitality brands. I'm proud to say Moxie has a very distinct and professional style that's allowed us to carve a wonderful niche for ourselves in the Indian market. Years ago we launched India's first mentorship program for women, Moxie Mentorship. We hosted a number of Women in Media panels in Bombay, Delhi and Bangalore, where we also set up unique mentorship relationships for Indian women. We've partnered with inspiring women like Pernia Qureshi, Malini Agarwal, Pooja Dhingra, Sabine Heller, Aishwarya Nair and others. We've also worked with really forward-thinking global partners like Nokia and Girl Rising (championed by Frida Pinto and Priyanka Chopra) for our mentorship efforts.
Bowl Bar, from Instagram to now serving - though we have heard the story, I'd love to hear it in your words.
It's such a fun story! I started eating extra healthy a few years ago to help boost my health while living in India. As everyone here knows, it can be incredibly difficult to eat well. I started bringing back suitcases of superfoods every time I came back from Toronto and New York. I would use them to make smoothie bowls at home, images of which I started sharing on Instagram. Almost instantly I started getting dozens of inquiries about ingredients, recipes, sourcing and more, so much so that I was inspired to start a healthy eating and living blog. Then I realized the only place I could find all the healthy food that I love so much was in my kitchen and decided to open a cafe so that the whole city could enjoy it. With that, Bowl Bar was born.
Humans are the only mammals that consume milk products after infancy, which both nature and science have proved to be unnecessary and unhealthy.
I understand you're a vegetarian. Why have you embraced vegetarianism as a lifestyle?
I've been vegetarian since I was very young, about 7 or 8, and choose this lifestyle because ethically I'm against animals being raised and slaughtered for food. I do eat eggs and honey, which means I am not vegan, but I don't eat any dairy products. Humans are the only mammals that consume milk products after infancy, which both nature and science have proved to be unnecessary and unhealthy. My choices reflect how I feel about animals, the earth and also human health. I've learned an enormous amount about vegetarian and vegan diets, especially in the last few years, and the more I learn the more strongly I feel that this is just the absolute healthiest way for us all to eat. It's also delicious!
What according to you are the benefits of veganism?
Veganism is a way of protecting your health and also the health of earth. A proper vegan diet is packed with plant-based protein, minerals and essential nutrients that keep people happy, energized and incredibly healthy.
Are you only serving at Eat Thai in Bandra right now? What's on the menu currently? Any additions any time soon?
We're really enjoying being in the heart of Bandra at Eat Thai and our signature vegan chia seed puddings are selling out every day! I love meeting our fans and customers, everyone has such a unique and interesting story about their own efforts to eat and live in a healthy way. We will be introducing new items very soon and will keep expanding our offerings until the cafe opens and our dabba service begins.
When do deliveries begin? Where?
Very soon! We're still working on choosing the best delivery method for our all-natural food so that our customers get Bowl Bar delivered exactly how I would want it to be served.
What are your plans for the cafe? Any sneak peek for us?
Naturally the first Bowl Bar cafe will be in Bandra and I'd like to open in town early next year, as we've had a lot of demand from across the Sea Link. Think bright, open and airy, full of sunshine and greenery. A space that reflects the philosophy of the food. We will also launch with a small retail section so that people can take home some of our favorite raw ingredients, snacks and more.
One quick vegan bowl recipe you would like to share with our readers?
Our signature vegan chia seed pudding is simple to make when you have the right ingredients! We use rich coconut cream, imported organic chia seeds from South America and imported organic agave syrup. Read the recipe here. We will be sharing more recipes in the future on our blog and on Instagram.
One piece of advice for budding chefs and entrepreneurs?
In food and in life I always say, 'do what you love'. It shines through in everything you do and will make your product and customer experience exceptional.
Is a recipe book on the cards?
Yes of course! I can't wait to get my vegan cookbook out.
Lots! A number of cafes, dabbas and retail. We're also going to host some really fun and delicious events. Stay tuned!
Know more about Bowl Bar here.
Featured Image: Bronfman at Goodearth. Photo: Priyanka Parashar