be-poles - Emma Sawko

Wild & The Moon Vegan restaurants

Text: Anne Bessaguet - Photos: Nomades

“At an age when we dream of crisps, the seeds in the fridge are infuriating.”

emma sawko, co-founder
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Emma says it herself: she didn’t invent anything. The awareness of food’s role in maintaining our health was something her mom had before her. And if, when she was younger, she suffered a little from the lack of marshmallows, she aims to educate her children in the same way. “We know very well what is good for us. Many people feel it perfectly. It’s simply a question of isolating ourselves a bit and updating our feelings.”

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Emma was an associate director at DDB (a large advertising agency in Paris) when her husband, a merchant banker, announced that he was being posted to New York. After a few years there, wonderful years when she stopped working and found time for herself and for her family, Emma took a liking to freedom.

Then it was to Dubai that her husband was sent. A brutal departure for a country where the culture seemed far from her own. Emma was destabilized. Arriving there, the need to focus on a project became paramount.

We can at least eat healthily.

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“Going to Dubai did not please me. So I worked hard. I like fashion, design, jewelry, food. Comptoir 102 is a fashion design concept store, and the first organic restaurant in Dubai. It opened in December 2012. We worked hard, but we were well rewarded. We won all the prizes. At the time, a multicultural restaurant didn’t exist there.”

 

“After 1 year in Dubai, my husband told me that we had to leave again. But now, it was impossible to follow him this time. I had to stay to complete my project. So he went back and forth. It wasn’t easy. I never really managed to feel at home in Dubai. And then, with Comptoir at last on track, I finally decided to go back after 6 years in Dubai. We chose Paris, and we looked for a common project. Of all the things I love, juice bars were familiar to me, as I had spent a lot of time in them in New York.”

Today, awareness is universal. Change is structural and we are at the beginning.

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“I developed the first recipes with a Californian chef, who helped me a lot. Now, it’s me who’s doing it. When I have ideas, I first create them at home.” The first Wild & The Moon opened three years ago, on rue Charlot. Today, there are ten in Paris. And two in Dubai. The pace is incredible. “I’m amazed by the speed with which awareness is evolving. Here we get a lot of young people, kids finishing high school, a lot of foreigners too, and of course, Anglophones.

 

Today, healthy, organic, all this trend is in vogue. What makes the difference here is that it’s been essential for me from the beginning. It’s not just a speech. At home, this really is how I nourish myself. I have made smoothies for my children since they were little. Food is central to my life.”

I’m not a militant. Just committed.

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Of course, everyone is free. Emma is against dogmas, and doesn’t shout into a megaphone. Promoting healthy food doesn’t stop her from eating meat at friends’ homes. But when she applies a concept, especially when it has a relationship with the world she will leave to her children, she follows it through to the end. At Wild & The Moon, there is no plastic.

 

All containers are in vegetable matter. The container, the label, even the glue used to fix the labels is checked to be sustainable. “We recycle everything we can. We also work with ‘Too good to go’ to limit waste. In fact, it’s a global concept. These are values ​​around food, but it’s much broader, it’s a whole lifestyle that you believe in.”

I wanted to be proud, to be able to say to my children: “We did everything we could”.

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It’s very difficult to be green. We have to solve a lot of problems. Inventing solutions on a small scale. And then make them evolve, sometimes inventing others, when we go to a larger scale. At any moment, it’s tense. “But for me, it was impossible to do otherwise. It’s a concept of life.

 

Since we are three associates, there is always one to drive the energy when another is exhausted. Tomorrow, Wild & The Moon can be a lot of things. Why not a hotel? But for the moment, all our energy, all our time is spent on the economic model, in order to make it stand, to standardize it, to make it profitable. And it has started very well.”

Better than Botox

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“We also have recently developed a range of superfoods. And it works. You feel better, you have more vitality, more energy. So why act any other way? Why eat other than a diet that is good for us?” Emma’s choices are not limited to ingredients or even containers. They include the choice of materials, to the architecture of the place. The codes are simple and raw. We feel the American influence, a cool and relaxed side, with a little more refinement, in the French manner. “In terms of design, I’d started a lot of things, but it was necessary that someone could be a keeper of the codes, be able to evolve them. With be-poles, we were aligned on absolutely everything.”

 

“I dream of developing the brand. To continue making sustainable development desirable. And that it becomes accessible to everyone. In fact, we can quickly break the habit of junk food. If what we eat is good and makes us feel good, in addition to the strong societal impact, no one will see any reason to eat badly.” Not only does Emma dream of a “vegan” happy ending, but she does everything she can to make it real. Accompanied by a Better than Botox (cucumber, apple, aloe vera, mint, beetroot, pomegranate), this news is truly beneficial.

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