Interview with Shantini Iyngkaran, Co-Founder of Organica Lifestyle
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I'm co-founder and chief lifestyler at Organica Lifestyle; an urban sanctuary nestled in Bangsar. I was a Human Rights lawyer before I took the courageous leap of faith and followed my passion for all things healthy, wholesome and yum! I was a little heavier before this and I had an amazing personal trainer who inspired me and tapped into my inner health junkie. After she helped me shed my excess baggage, I realized I wanted to do something more health orientated. It started with a personal training course, I found my first client, shared a wondrous and challenging journey with her, she lost a grand total of 69 kilos with me. I decided I had found my calling! I started my first Business Energia lifestyle, a boutique personal training and lifestyle coaching business in Melbourne. My philosophy was Nourish Transform Sustain. All this time I had the relentless support of my now business partner and soul sister Anjana Arunchalam. Three years later, one letter to the universe and our shared vision to create a space of healing and nourishment, and Organica was created.
What's the best/ worst part of your job?
I guess I wear a lot of hats as a co-owner of a start up business. I love being creative in the kitchen, although I’m not trained as chef. What comes on your plate, is love, inspiration and passion to feed tummies with goodness. So definitely cooking is a great part of it. I also love working with my awesome team, Holly and Josh, who both are amazing in the kitchen. It’s never a job when you have great people to work with. The worst part is probably when we run out of cutlery during lunch rush hour!
The perfect day off would be...
A day in Melbourne! I’d start with a long trail walk with my dog Mojo, then a movie marathon in the cinemas with Anjana in our jimjams with my favourite salad and choc raspberry cake that we’ve snuck in. Then home to cook a yummy meal for my friends, and unwind with a great book before bed!
If you were a customer in your own café what would you order?
I would definitely start with one of our cold press juices. I’d have the Heart chakra, followed by the Soba Noodle Salad to keep things light and fresh and end it all off with a decadent but healthy Choc-maca pancakes with a cup of home brewed chai from Chai Walli.
How do you source your produce?
We believe food can heal and to benefit from food we use the freshest ingredients to ensure you receive the full nutritional benefits of each dish. We try to support local farmers and source our fresh greens and fruit from them. Local farmers like Uncle Huah who supplies us fresh coconuts for our juices are just what Organica is about, sustainability.
Describe your venue in three words?
Café, store, yoga … can I add another two? … Urban Sanctuary
What’s your favourite yoga pose?
The crow pose or Bakasana, always reminds me of life, always at the edge of my comfort zone and finding a balance between strength and gentleness.
What made you choose a bungalow in which to build Organica?
It was really important to Anjana and myself that Organica be a place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of KL. Space, light, sound and good food were core elements in creating a space of healing and nourishment. What better place to let go and unwind but in a place just like home? I think Malaysians truly appreciate convenience, so we wanted to bring comfort and convenience in a one-stop-shop with yoga classes, a café and health store.
Where has inspired your menu?
Our menu is definitely inspired by all our favourite cafes in our hometown, Melbourne. All our items are self-creations with a Melbournesque feel. The menu is all about shifting paradigms that healthy food can't taste good! We also integrate super foods like maca and chia into our dishes so its yummy and super good for you!
What's in store for you in the upcoming months?
We’re looking to start up our delivery service in April and our online store will be up and running soon. We will be hosting a few wellbeing workshops in the next few months so stay posted on our Facebook page for more info. We will also be opening our kitchen on the first Friday night of each month for dinner. The menu will vary with seasonal produce and chef's inspiration. It will be booking only for the evenings.
Check out some of the wonderfully healthy and delicious dishes you can find at Organica via this link.