WILD GIRLS DELI – BONGÉNIE:
by Fernanda Silva
ENTER OUR COMPETITION TO WIN LUNCH FOR TWO AT WILD GIRLS CAFÉ – DETAILS AT END OF ARTICLE.
Two years ago three girls who wanted to do something wild on their own decided to quit their jobs, two of them former architects and one lawyer, to chase their dream.
United by their passion for food, they turned into entrepreneurs to create Wild Girls Deli – Café – Shop – on the top floor of Bongénie in Geneva, combining a beautiful venue with healthy, creative food.
Laura Baer who is half Brazilian and her two partners, the Lebanese sisters Mira De Picciotto and Mona Al-Kassar, share a love for travelling and exploring food from different countries.
Realising there was something missing on Geneva’s healthy-food scene, the girls chose a concept offering healthy food, that is still tasty, which can also be enjoyed by people with allergies or strict diets.
CREATIVE, HEALTHY FOOD
Wild Girls combines the best flavours from different cultures and a mix of spices, herbs and vegetables to create original recipes.
The star of many of their recipes is tapioca flour, which Laura discovered while she was living in Brazil. Since everything in the deli is homemade, from their vegan milk to their special teriyaki sauce, their tapioca flour is produced in-house too through a time-consuming process.
Their pink tapioca crepes represent best the signature eye-catching style of Wild Girls Deli. Their aim is to create dishes that are as good to look at as they are delicious. The secret to the colourful crepes relies on their use of natural colourants such as beetroot, spinach, carrots or saffron. This way every recipe is healthy, without adding any unnecessary fats or processed ingredients.
Since they all love to cook, the girls are all directly involved in the creation of each recipe. They gather inspiration from their travels and the food they cook at home for friends and family. The team has now grown with more people helping in the kitchen and giving new ideas for exciting dishes. Wild Girls also works with local entrepreneurs who contribute to the deli’s variety, for example, Valmandin’s specialty coffee, Balzac’s hot chocolate and gluten-free bread by Goodfood Artisans from Lausanne.
Laura defines their business partners as people who “share the same spirit of having good products created with the highest quality and a real passion of doing what they love.” You can see this with their pao de queijo by the Brazilian couple Jussara and Alexandre Gusmao located in Nyon, who uses Swiss AOC cheese in their traditional recipe.
They had less than a month to settle into Bongénie, the department store on 34 rue du Marché, which was looking for a new food concept to fill their 6th floor location while the girls were looking for a venue where people could try their culinary creations.
At the beginning, it was only the three of them running a business, creating the food, the service and doing the cleaning themselves, but over time they have been able to hire more people and streamline their processes.
Nowadays they have four employees working together to deliver the best food and service especially during their busiest hours.
Weekdays from 12:30pm to 1:30pm are their busiest times. On Saturdays they are also buzzing between 3pm and 5pm, when shoppers take a cake and coffee break.
Wild Girls also offers an online store where you can buy their in-house products such as the tapioca flour or a headband called wax which has an African print that the team usually wears.
WILD GIRLS IN BASEL
The founders’ original idea has always been to open not only one, but several Wild Girls restaurants and to eventually create a franchise. Following their goal, they’ve just opened their second location now in the 3rd floor of the departmental store Grieder in Basel. In view of the new customers that Wild Girls have brought to Bongénie, Grieder wanted to replicate the phenomenon and attract a younger clientele. This translates into more work for the girls, considering that the new location is twice as big as the original in Geneva. Nevertheless it’s a step towards delivering more healthy-creative-tasty food to Switzerland. So if you’re going to Basel or have friends there, try and recommend Wild Girls!
Wild Girls wants to inspire young people through their cuisine, but also through their name. They are three wild-spirited girls who pushed themselves to start something new and who are achieving their wildest dreams. You go girls!
ENTER OUR COMPETITION TO WIN LUNCH FOR TWO AT WILD GIRLS CAFÉ
The lunch for two will include the following per person:
1 small juice of your choice
1 small starter: small salad or soup
1 main : tapioca or quinoa bowl
All you need to do is answer this simple question:
WHAT IS THE MAIN INGREDIENT OF THE WILD GIRLS CAFÉ’S CRÊPES?
Send your answer to us at firstname.lastname@example.org before the closing date of Friday 9th March 2018. Winners will be notified by email.