For all the times I’ve heard that organic is a niche market and you could never feed the whole world if we went in this direction as the Central Valley of California supplies 90% of produce, Colombia and Ceres Mercado are here to prove you wrong—along with a few other amazing farming movements that I’ll be sharing soon. Get ready to be inspired by two girls that just started doing something they believed in with little, some good trading and a lot of love. I introduce you to Sara Gonzalez and Julia Correa of Ceres Mercado.
WHAT INSPIRED THE NAME CERES MERCADO AND WHY DID THE TWO OF YOU START THIS AMAZING ORGANIC MARKET
Julia and I both have always been inspired by social causes. Since college she used to work in an animal shelter and I used to work in an NGO with children. When we finished our university, it was time to face the real world and work and we were sure we didn’t want to work at a big, traditional company, so we thought a lot about how to help our community—and helping the local farmers became the solution. We created Ceres as a space where we could work with fare trade, help farmers, families, animals, and the environment. Ceres has everything we believe in, as it is an alternative way to consume with consciousness. Ceres was a roman goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships. In spanish SERES means beings, so CERES could easily evocate the respect for all beings.
WHY GLASS JARS INSTEAD OF PLASTIC
We also believe that every action or product should be as respectful to the earth as possible, so we try to have the minimum negative impact on earth—using glass that we could reuse or recycle.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE FOR YOU TO GET UP AND RUNNING AFTER CONCEIVING YOUR INITIAL IDEA
Almost 6 months. We started with very little money—all our savings—and a very small, simple and cute store. Then we realize that we needed a bigger space so, we talked to our friends from the vegetarian/organic restaurant Verdeo and decided to find a place for both of us.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR MARKET GROWING FROM HERE
We want to stay small. we are not ambitious to getting a bigger place or becoming a big company. Just to have a small place like ours, spending time with people and managing the place by ourselves works for us.
YOGA, FARM AND OTHER PERSONAL PROJECTS THE TWO OF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN
Julia's boyfriend, Sebastian, has a very beautiful organic farm that works as a social organization. He helps farmers who want to grow organic. And I, Sara, am a yoga teacher. We both have a very healthy lifestyle, we are vegetarian/vegan, we do a lot of yoga, we love animals and we are happy.
SOME NATIVE FRUITS AND SUPER HERBS AND THE BENEFITS THEY PROMOTE
We have great things here like moringa. It’s a green plant rich in protein, calcium and vitamin c. We also have tropical fruits as Arazá great for health. There is always our best friend turmeric and ginger, who are wonderful for you.
I LOVE THAT YOU TRADE WITH LOCAL ARTIST AND FARMERS. TELL US ABOUT SOME UNIQUE TRADING YOU DO
We love trading. It’s fare and fun! We trade food with our graphic designer, Carolina Bernal, for her amazing illustrations. We also trade food for yoga classes with our favorite yoga studio Element Yoga. And of course, we trade all we can with our neighbors, VERDEO.
SOME LOCAL CAUSES YOU SUPPORT AND WHY THEY ARE SO MEANINGFUL
We love supporting animal shelters. We help them by selling things with no profit for us! There’s not enough help for animals! We do everything we can for them.
MOST IMPORTANT PROGRESS YOU’D LOVE TO SEE IN COLOMBIA AND THE WORLD
We would love to see more consciousness in people here. We would love to see people making wise decisions about food and health, by using their intelligence but feeling from their hearts. We would love to feed everyone with healthy organic things and vegetarian food.
CAN YOU SHARE ONE SMOOTHIE OR JUICE RECIPE WITH US THAT PROMOTES HEALING AND USES NATIVE, LOCAL PRODUCE
Our favorite! Soy Sinceridad (I am sincerity)!!! Avocado, kale, mango, orange, and mandarin. We recommend adding some moringa or chia in it for extra special benefits! Just perfect for breakfast—leaving you full and healthy, and lots of iron and vitamin C.