Welcome juice junkies

Double welcome juice junkies! From our cafés, restaurants and newly launched website!

So many of you are so happy that you have us closer to where you live and the most wonderful thing for me is the community atmosphere that has been created by you.

After my yearly trip to Los Angeles and this time Arizona, I have come across places that are just that… community cafes where everyone knows each other and feels at home. I got so inspired and ‘high’ by the atmosphere of being surrounded by like minded people, conscious people who are aware of the importance of nutrition and that a certain kind of diet can have profound benefits for our health and for our planet too.

Passion cafes…. health warriors…. together with you….. changing the world one kale chip at a time

I am happy to notice that an interest in health food, raw food, superfoods and a healthy lifestyle is on the increase. Health is in fashion! Passion is in fashion! Our goal always was to help you see that healthy living can be delicious, that it is all about making different choices and not so much about sacrificing.

This is being clearly proven by our raw food that you so love, especially our desserts. They are almost outselling our infamous carrot cake! I never thought I would see that!  And anyone trying raw kale chips is ‘surprised’ how good they are. It makes me smile…

So here we are… Passion cafes… health warriors… together with you… changing the world one kale chip at the time.

Magic mountain

I worked so much last summer; physically be- cause we were so busy at the café and men- tally it was a crazy summer too, but I guess I can blame crazy energy of 2012 for it!

What kept me going was my vision of going somewhere super tropical in the winter to completely unwind…Life, take me to Maldives, Fiji, Seychelles….any honeymoon place where no one will talk to me as it’ll be only couples who have time and eyes for each other, so I will not have to talk to another human being for a while.

Do not get me wrong, I love humans, but sometimes I need a break from them.

And just as the end of the season was ap- proaching the opportunity for new Passion café popped up and it was opportunity not to be missed. And after being hassled and ordered by some of you (!) to open another café to work all year around, being it life-long desire and me being ‘ready’ to do it…it was to be go for.

So as much as I wanted to expand the busi- ness I instantly knew that I have to start doing something more about my health, wellbeing and relaxation techniques in order not to get ill or loose the plot running two businesses in Ibiza, in the summer, in two amazing locations.

I needed meditation retreat. But I wanted something special, something not too ‘hippy’… You know what I mean…

I needed to choose my teacher right as this will be it. And my intention was so strong, that guess what? My teacher was recommended to me by my friend and upon opening up his website and seeing his picture I instantly knew he was the one. And not only that he looked as almost total resemblance of my brother gone with angels…it was something more powerful. I felt instant love in my heart for a man I have not even met or heard him speak a word.

Meditation retreat was in gorgeous mountains of Davos in Switzerland. Well, hotel in the mountains. Mountains only would be too much hard core for beginner like me on a very long path to become yogi ever.

Opening up my balcony doors to breath-taking glorious mountains covered with snow and village of Davos resting beneath it was like being in imaginary world

Hotel Schatzaltp was inspiration for Thomas Mann novel ‘The Magic mountain’.

Thomas Mann gained inspiration for his tale during his own stay in Davos. His wife Katia was ill with catarrh on the apex of the lungs, and travelled to a recuperation spa at the woodland sanitorium in Davos. The ambience, the attitude to life amidst pure art nouveau architecture, remains as it was almost 100 years ago. The architecture of the sanitorium remains unchanged. The terraces, where guests of the sanitorium rested and recuper- ated, serve today as sunbathing spots for the hotel guests.

At the beginning of the 20th century Davos was a magical mountain in the truest sense: Whilst the whole of Europe was suffering from tuberculosis, in Davos not a single inhabitant of the village was ill. The healing effect of the high mountain air of Davos therefore became world renowned at an early stage, which led to numerous international guests heading for Davos – including many writers, philosophers and artists.

Opening up my balcony doors to breath-taking glorious mountains covered with snow and vil- lage of Davos resting beneath it was like being in imaginary world. To my delight there were springs everywhere around hotel! We didn’t even have to go to spring to fill our water bot- tles as more than 20 springs were connected to our hotel meaning spring water was coming out of the taps. I have forgotten what it means to open the tap and gulp a glass of water coming out of it. I haven’t drunk tap water for years and this was just amazing! And you could taste it too, crisp, fresh, cool…ah! I used to stand by sink and drink glass after glass after glass…it was that good.

I loved the food that was served to us. So many raw vegetables, nuts, seeds, great oils, amazing quality bread, really good butter, cheese and yoghurts from local grass fed cows and every cooked meal had some nice steamed veg, grain and meat dishes for those who fancy it. You know me, I don’t! Fruit
was available throughout the day, little Swiss chocolates were all over the place, spring water coming out of the tap…heaven.

There was a hiking path from our hotel down to town of Davos, so one afternoon I went for a walk and to check what’s ‘down there’. I found lovely outdoor terraces of cafes with people taking coffee or having lunch in a sun, amazing ski shops, so no need to shop before you go there, but warning…Switzerland is pricey! Oh yes it is!

I also came across amazing patisserie and just couldn’t resist buying some cakes to share with my fellow meditation monks up the mountain. They were happy but excess sugar might have affected meditation to follow…ups!

Our meditation was taking space in a wooden chalet short walk away from our hotel. Medita- tion was intense and there was more talk than I expected, but I could feel shift happening.

I loved the people retreat have attracted; Business people, doctors, yoga teachers, art- ists, activists, humanitarians, musicians, even young conductor from Israel and Michael, local young man who walked every day up and down mountain track to join us. Needless to say I have connected mostly to Michael as we shared love for raw food and David Wolfe.

It was also interested to have people from Lebanon, Israel, Croatia, Germany, USA Switzerland and Australia all come together
to one intimate space and meditate together. Everyone in hope of enlightment! No one got enlighten but we all got well even though at some point in history and even now our coun- tries are at war.

The first day of retreat I was sure I was freak- ing out my meditation teacher as I couldn’t stop staring in him and his eyes that resem- bled so much in them a person I loved most and have lost, in physical way only. Even though some might think I sound crazy but I know and feel fully that my brother and my dad up there are next to me all the time. They are my guides, my protection and my guarding angels, full time.

I also found my meditation to start having very healing effect on me and there were moments when tears just would not hold back. I had huge releases, but I have also found peace within that for so long I even forgot existed.

I simply cannot wait to go back to Davos mountains, to springs, to scenery that brings so much peace and space, to catch up with Michael on our raw food adventures and to see my meditation teacher again and his very special lady, companion and fellow teacher.

I’m still taking baby steps in my meditation practice, and still am to make it daily practice, but if it’s ever necessary and I feel that is
the only thing to help me calm down or get clearer, now I have tool. And sometimes with this new tool I have I don’t even have to sit down on meditation cushion, I can do it even walking down the street

And it feels great tool to have it.

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Me, myself and vegas

I was back in Ibiza from Davos, and after a couple of weeks, my travelling winter feet were itching to go go go places, and my fingers were itching to click on the BOOK IT NOW button on bookings.com!

So one day, my friend Kyle Cease posted that he was doing an event in Vegas, and I just felt I had to go.

Kyle is one of the most accomplished comedians in the USA, who has recently shifted to giving inspirational talks to students in colleges and people worldwide, mostly through his Youtube videos, in order to inspire people to take their life in their hands and to help us all see our potential and the greatness within us. And, as always eager to learn and get inspired, I felt I needed to go and attend Kyle’s event knowing I’ll learn new things and also laugh my ass off…the man is funny! I also wanted to go and support him as this was one of the first events of this kind he was doing after 20 years of mainly stand-up comedy and movies.

I was in Vegas for two days in 2009, with friends who booked me into the vilest hotel I’ve ever stayed in! If you know me…I don’t do well with crappy hotels. Call me a snob, princess or whatever…I don’t do them! I’d rather sleep in a tent! I swore then and there that I would be back with a vengeance and accommodate my sweet behind in the full luxury of the Bellagio.

Knowing I would be there early December means Bellagio’s famous Christmas decorations would be up in hotel lobby, which was another bonus as they are truly the best Christmas decorations ever.

So, at the click of a button I was checked into one of the most glorious hotels in Vegas with its own dancing fountain. On my own. I did put it out there that if any of my friends would like to come and share my bedroom with me free of charge they would be welcome, (unless they are snorers!), and no one took me up on my offer. I’m sure anyone willing to come was a snorer!

So, I boarded the flight in London and was whisked to …Las Vegas baby!

Kyle’s event was great and the most amazing thing that happened was not that I actually learned anything, as almost everything Kyle and his guest speakers were saying to me, I was like…but I do that already, I think like that already, I run my business like this already, I’m like that with people already… And I am not saying here, hey I’m doing it all right way… the whole point was that for years I have been beating myself up because I’m terrible at planning, organising, strategies and do things spontaneously, on impulse, with gut feeling, from the top of my head, deal with things once they are in my face, being in the moment, being true to myself and feeling strongly what is right and what is wrong and being stubborn about it…and feeling that I was doing it all wrong. And guess what…as every single person stepped onto the stage and gave a talk, it gave me another acknowledgment that the way I am is actually how lots of people are trying hard to learn to be, and here is the army of motivational speakers who are helping them to do that. And lucky me was born this way! It was special realisation for me and it was finally ‘proven’ for me that I’m actually quite O.K. and not that screwed up after all! Kind of like I found myself again.

And then there’s the Bellagio story…it was lovely. My mornings would start with gym, as my debt had to be paid for the upcoming post-workout coffee and the most amazing pastries EVER from Jean Pierre patisserie. The mere thought of their maple pecan cinnamon buns and cheesecake Danish makes me weep! I visited this patisserie on my previous trip to Vegas, and for years I was simply longing to go and visit it again.

I love my own space and love my travels on my own. I have a good time with myself

I’m actually not the greatest fan of fancy French dolly looking tarts and cakes which very often only look good, but here they look good and taste even better.

I have lost all my healthy star points in a week! And I didn’t care as it was an extravaganza for my taste buds. I felt bit of an emotional need to fill the gap because I’m probably the only person on their own in Vegas, and instead of looking hot and glamorous in high heels and tight dress next to my (non-existent) Mr Grey, while he’s gambling in the plush hotel casino, I was seeing Vegas shows in my comfy Juicy couture pants, sipping on Fiji water and being back in my hotel bedroom at 10 pm watching gossip channels on American TV.

But don’t get me wrong! I had a great time! I love my own space and I love my travels on my own as I can do whatever I want, anytime I want, eat when I want, don’t eat if I don’t feel like it and with no one to argue with over ‘I want to go bungee jumping and you don’t!’. I also take all the time in the world to do my shopping, stopping for tea here, juice there and observe world passing by. I have a good time with myself.

And I can eat insanely good burritos in the Cheesecake factory, not caring about table manners! They are sinfully good and over- loaded with good guacamole, salsa and sour cream. And if you ever have chance to visit the Cheesecake factory and lose your healthy stars…all I can say is…dulce de leche cheesecake. OH.MY.GOD.

Lounging by the Bellagio hotel pool was plush too, so was swimming in the heated pool, which, now being the first week of December, felt quite good…until the chlorine starts to nibble on your skin cells. That wasn’t pleasant, as no amount of my sweet almond body oil would stop the prickling. God bless Vegas and ridiculously chlorinated pools!

My flirting highlight moment was being complimented on my hair by a rather good looking gentleman as I swam towards him. I thought he was talking to someone behind me, as I was aware of a palm tree resting on the top of my head with my hair pulled up, so I stupidly giggled in a way as though he’s teasing me, only to be told he had seen my ‘stunningly beautiful hair’ down before I got in the pool. God, I have to start acting cool when complimented.

Night life in Vegas is crazy! So many places to go, so many restaurants to visit. The night clubs actually look quite good…well, when you live in Ibiza it is hard to be impressed by any night clubs elsewhere.

If you go to Vegas, make sure that you see as many shows as possible and as your budget allows. They can be pricey, depending on seats available but are truly amazing. I had the chance to see Shania Twain on the opening night concert, her first live performance in eight years. Not that I am huge fan, but it was rather cool thing to do, and Shania Twain is Shania Twain! And she had a live horse on stage who wasn’t very impressed to be there.

Before arriving to Vegas my friend booked me a ticket for Circus Soleil ‘O’show, in advance as they are usually sold out. She told me only the best seat was left available to buy (at hefty price of course), but she wouldn’t let me go to Vegas without seeing this show.

Being in the best seat meant that I decided to put my suede heels on and my designer black jeans, only for that seat to be in the very first row where you are now and then splashed by water by dancers doing pool acrobatics! And yes, it smelled of chlorine too!

I was concerned about my shoes and spent the whole performance hiding my feet under the seat!

I had my Vegas star moment there too, when all the auditorium lights and a thousand eyes were on me as a performer dressed as a clown pointed his finger at me and I had to get up from my seat in order for him to give me a flower. Me, from all the people in the front row! It was a happy moment…and the flower was a plastic sunflower which I have kept and brought home with me. It makes me smile every time I see it. The little things in life, eh?

I saw another two Cirque de soleil shows, The Beatles and the newcomer Zarkana. The Zarkana show blew my mind! The stage, the colours, the quality of performers and the insane things they do with their bodies… incredible!

There are lot of things that I haven’t done in Vegas yet, meaning I behaved way too well! Now that the Bellagio mission has been accomplished, a new seed has been planted, and this is some party time Vegas style…oh yes! And not sure I’ll be sharing that with you darlings! You know how saying goes!

How did I do it?

Last summer I received a few e-mails from people asking me every question on earth about ‘How did I build Passion and its concept?’ They wanted all the tips, strategies and advice from me about how to open their own café ‘similar’ to Passion, or with the ‘same’ concept.

Hmmm….How do you answer that? Well, first of all I didn’t answer those e-mails as they arrived in the middle of the summer when I didn’t know where my head or ass was as I was working so damn hard!

I was like: ‘You want to know how I do it? Come and do my shift three days in a row and let’s see if you’ll still be interested’!

So how did I do it? Obviously in a very different way than anyone else would do it, as at the end of the day we are all different. For starters, I began with no strategy whatsoever or much experience in what I was doing, or at least I thought I had. This is why I feel strange giving other people advice and strategies on how to open a place. Strategy? What’s that?!

The beginning was messy. I learnt as I went along. I learnt through mistakes and observed what was working and what was not.

I never stopped growing or losing my passion. I just kept going, with my head through the wall sometimes. You have to be ready to do that.

I constantly invest, not just in the café, but in myself too, with knowledge of nutrition, new food, drinks and products.

The café after a while started to grow. So did I.

It also never occurred to me that I was building a business with a concept. When people start telling me that Passion has a nice and unique concept, I was like ‘what’? Passion has a concept?!

Building this concept has been and still is hard work. It’s a never ending building process, at least in my case.

Building the business has meant me sacrificing my health quite a bit, my relationships, my friendships, it has taken years of my life that could have been a bit more careless and enjoyable, but instead were filled with hard work, stress, pain, disappointment in people and so on.

It is all really nice now and when people say lucky you, I can only smile at them and go yeah right!

If you could only see the movie that will show you what it took to get where Passion café where it is today, you would probably say ‘o.k. I see now and I think I’ll go and do something else!’

If I do encourage you to do it I will be sentencing you to working really hard, physically and emotionally. Because I know too well what it takes. But if you are not afraid of hard work and are ready to sacrifice lots of things (forget about social hours!) then this business is for you. Ask anyone in Ibiza if they ever see me on party scene and the answer ten out of ten will be NO. Not because I don’t like to go out and party. I’m just too focused on my business and delivering, I cannot ‘afford’ to party.

But again, this is my story. If you are financially stable, can open a restaurant and have someone run the whole show for you then social hours will not be sacrificed. And if you are financially comfortable you probably didn’t send an e-mail to me asking me how to open an organic cafe!

There is no a problem in opening and running your restaurant, café or any business for that matter, the problem is only a measure of how bad you really want it and what is the driving force for you to do it. If it’s making money only, forget it. If it is for show off only, forget it. It may work for a while but eventually it will come back and hunt you down.

You have to do it because it is your passion, because you want to create something amazing, because you want to do your best. It has to come from your gut. This is my case and this is why I don’t mind hard work, as I’m on a mission. And I love to create.

I get bored out of my mind doing the same thing all the time.

There is so much talk especially here in Ibiza of who has the best this and who has the best that. Which place has the best burger, paella or milkshake? I think this is ridiculous because we all have different tastes. What can be the best salad for me it might not be for you. One place’s menu can be my idea of heaven and your idea of hell. What can be the best shake for you can be the crap shake for me (very possibly, knowing me! My shake standards are ridiculously high)

I’m not interested in being the best in anything, I only want to be my own best and doing things in the best way I can.

And this is the best advice I can give you.

Other advice I can give you, let your standards go up, do not relax and let them slide. Customers cannot be fooled. Eventually you will start losing some business.

Be original, have something different that you can perfect so much that no one can copy or have the same as you. As I say about Passion, often imitated, never duplicated. Your business is your creation. If you put your mind and soul into it selflessly no one will ever be able to copy it, because no one can copy you. You’re unique. So will your business be.

Build a team of like minded people. We have our Passion boxes that have to be ticked in order to get employment with us.

Give some things for free if you can. Build an online audience. Write a blog. Give people recipes. Print a small newsletter. My Passion is only a small café but look at this magazine we give out to people for free. The cost of making it doesn’t align with our ‘small’ business. I do it because I want to, because I have the desire to share good information, to inspire people. It’s my pleasure. It is my passion.

Wishing you the best of luck with your venture! Yes, it is hard work but if you really, really want it, it is worth it. Do it passionately! Do it with love!

Ready to serve you and inspire you. Yours truly, Miss Love

Dump the junk!

2012 was nuts! There were good times but overall it was rather ‘challenging’! Don’t you think? I just felt crazy energy, especially here in Ibiza and it felt like everyone was going bonkers, myself included. Just how many people did we see separate from their partners? Divorce rates hit the roof! The world has become a museum of broken relationships.

Work for me personally, and my team was very challenging too. We had a crazy busy season.

The more famous Passion Café becomes, the standards we have to reach become higher and higher, and being so super busy at times it is just not possible to please everyone. Sometimes it is difficult to deliver good service as the place is so busy and we all have certain human powers that sometimes cannot be exceeded. And then there are comments from customers. To some, your burger will be the best ever, others will find it all wrong.

We had compliment after compliment flooding in, every day all day long. Sometimes I actually felt overwhelmed with positive feedback, I blushed from compliments, it was heart-warming, beautiful, rewarding and you think, this is all what this all is about. But on the very rare occasion when people said not so nice things about us my world would be crashing down. I felt like I had failed. I just wanted to please everyone and hoped that everyone would have a nice experience in Passion and leave with a smile on their face. But this is very hard to achieve. Anyone that has a business will know that is almost impossible.

But one day I went mad when someone (dared!) to say that we have lost our passion! I was like, “WHAT”??!! The comment was not even constructive and it was from anonymous person who didn’t even have balls to put their name to a comment or take the chance to get feedback from me. Luckily it was in writing, as if it was said to my face I would have broken all the rules of the customer is always right and my mouth would have uttered words which only those who really know me would know what those words might have been.

You are working 12, sometimes 16 hours a day, every day, and you have no other life as it’s all about work. You fret over every dish, drink and service. You create new things every day to offer to your customers, you live, breathe, dream your work, you write and produce a costly magazine to give to people for free and you are doing your very damn best, so for someone to say you have lost your passion? I was mad! It has affected me. But it shouldn’t have. It dawned on me then that I need some inner work to do because I was taking things too personally.

Life has a much bigger plan for you. Happiness is part of that plan. Health is part of that plan. Stability is part of that plan. Constant struggle is not.

I realized I had too many thoughts that were not just unnecessary but toxic for my overall being. Occasional feelings of un-worthiness, not being good enough, not totally confident, striving for perfection were exhausting.

And the ultimate question above it all: What is my purpose?

With success of Passion cafe, the magazine, my mission to feed people better, and I thought this is it. I thought I had found myself and my purpose. My business is who I am.

I thought I had got it all worked out. But when the occasional not so good review or comment would come in, the whole process of soul searching would start over again. Because my work, meaning me, wasn’t liked by all or they have expected ‘more’.

Then one day I was reading Kris Carr’s blog and the subject about life purpose popped out.

And I realised that my purpose has nothing with what I do. Neither is yours. Hallelujah!

As Kris said ‘Your purpose is to know and love yourself on the deepest level. To know yourself so much to be able to guide yourself back home when you lose your way.

Everything else is your burning passion, your job, your hobby. Those things are important but they are not your purpose. Your purpose is much bigger than that’.

Knowing this purpose diffuses the ache of separateness that we can feel when our work is not appreciated or our efforts overlooked.’

There she said it! Story of my life!

‘Your purpose is to know and love yourself on the deepest level. To know yourself so much to be able to guide yourself back home when you lose your way’ – Kris Carr

And in what she said I realised that sometime people will love my work and sometimes they won’t. Some will like me, some will unfriend me. I will give and get nothing in return and sometimes doesn’t matter how much you give to some will never be enough. How many times are we taken for granted? How many times do people expect you to have tolerance and forgiveness for their bad manners? How many times do people confuse your niceness for your weakness?

Do you keep that junk that has been dropped on you or do you dump it and move on, knowing who you really are and loving yourself regardless that someone didn’t like the cake you lovingly made or that some bum, you actually thought was a nice person, didn’t call?

That’s life. But does that mean we have no purpose or meaning or worth? Please!

Other people’s bad reaction, perception, or treatment of you, your work, and your product is a reflection of them and has nothing to do with you. Do not take it personally because is not, unless you have bad manners (which is not cool) or you know that you have been slacking and didn’t do your best, but then you have space for improvement. And if they love you and all you do, it doesn’t matter at all if you are not going to fluff your own feathers.

Kris also said the following: ‘Your self-worth has nothing to do with your craft or calling and everything to do with how you treat yourself. I’ve met brilliant and effective activists who I have gallons of respect for but who are dirty messes inside. Mean messes. Bitter messes. Sad messes. And guess what? Their reach and impact reflects their attitude. Imagine what they could accomplish if they moved from loathing to love, if they knew that no matter how important their mission, their inner purpose matters even more. People are like plants, we all lean towards the light.’

I couldn’t agree more. ‘You are the light. I’m light. Our inner purpose is to connect with that light. Everything else will follow in time.’

Thank you Kris x