The Sustainable and Ethically Conscious Food Choice

Sister of Soul

3. Good Health and Well-Being 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

Sister of Soul is an organisation dedicated to providing a sustainable food option for people in the local community through delivering solely vegan and vegetarian menu items.

The company aims to promote responsible and healthy consumption of food without the harm of sentient beings in the process, as well as minimised impact on the environment.

The organisation diverts all its organic waste to a community garden so it can be repurposed as fertiliser to the benefit of the entire community.

Author

Sofie Andersen

Sofie Andersen

School

Monash University

Monash University

Professor

Gitanjali Bedi

Gitanjali Bedi

Innovation

Sister of Soul is a restaurant committed to delivering high quality, healthy, and affordable vegan/vegetarian food to the local community. The idea came about upon a visit to the popular St Kilda bay side area in Melbourne, a small hot spot for restaurant dining in Melbourne, especially popular for tourists and backpackers. The founder, Daniel Cerici, found himself reflecting upon the lack of more sustainable and healthy food choices in the area and decided to change that. He then opened the sustainable eatery Sister of Soul, where he and his team has been serving sustainable and ethically conscious dishes ever since. The restaurant has two symbols displayed on the wall inside, a triangle symbolising the change (as seen in the mathematical sign for change) and a circle symbolising the circular movement of repurposing all the restaurant’s organic waste into the local community garden as compost. One of the visions behind the eatery is to enable people to eat wholesome, nutritional, healthy, cruelty free meals, and promote the plant-based lifestyle and its contribution to a more sustainable environment and public health. As Daniel puts in, “The purpose was to create a space that was a destination for people. Not just for vegans and vegetarians, but for anyone who wants to eat something a little bit different to what they usually eat.”

The Sustainable and Ethically Conscious Food Choice

Inspiration

The idea behind Sister of Soul was to create a space for people to come together to enjoy and explore the plant-based cuisine. The menu is designed to appeal to all types of people with familiar flavours that people can relate to. As Daniel puts it, “vegan and vegetarian [food] is so confronting to a lot of people that we try and ease that sort of pressure, if you will.” In that way, Sister of Soul attempts to be much more than “just” a place to eat, but rather a place where people can feel a certain connection with the food and the lifestyle, without having to be uncomfortably confronted with how well they themselves contributes to the bigger picture of sustainable and healthy living.

Overall impact

The organisation focuses on both people’s and the environment’s health, which it directly impacts through contribution of making healthy, sustainable food readily available to consumers, whilst employing a circular economy approach to its waste management.

Business benefit

Having been in business for six years, Sister of Soul have made significant contributions to the local community’s health, as well as significant economic progress. The business even expanded and opened an additional location in Richmond, another Melbourne suburb. Moreover, the organisation currently employs approximately 50 people, most of which have a personal connection to the vegan/vegetarian movement.

“For a lot of the people that work here, a job is just a job no matter what, BUT there is that connection that they have with this place because it is an extension of who they are.”

Social and environmental benefit

The business contributes to a more sustainable world in various ways. The practise of repurposing all organic waste into the community garden is a good example of an environmentally sustainable practice. “It helps us divert tons of waste away from landfills, puts it back into the earth so that it can turn to compost, so they can then put it back into the earth and grow vegetables for the local community.” Moreover, Daniel states that “it is also about reducing the environmental footprint as much as possible.”

Another way in which the company contributes is the social aspect. Making plant-based cuisine relatable and accessible for the community creates awareness of the numerous benefits a plant-based diet has in terms of environmental footprint, ethically conscious eating, and personal health. The more long-term effect of this awareness is the support it creates around the entire movement, and a shift in the general mindset. “We know that the movement is growing, and the movement is getting louder.”

Interview

Daniel Cerici, Owner & CEO

Photo of interviewee

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Sister of Soul

Sister of Soul

Melbourne, Victoria, AU

Business Website: http://www.sisterofsoul.com.au/

Year Founded: 2013

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Sister of Soul is an organisation dedicated to providing a sustainable food option for people in the local community through delivering solely vegan and vegetarian menu items.

The company aims to promote responsible and healthy consumption of food without the harm of sentient beings in the process, as well as minimised impact on the environment.

The organisation diverts all its organic waste to a community garden so it can be repurposed as fertiliser to the benefit of the entire community.