Today we are turning our heads to the food industry. And to street food in particular. Our guests are Martin Sindzhirliev and Angel Stiliyanov from Mangia Stancia. We are discussing the freshly prepared healthy food, customers’ habits and their way to Mangia Stancia.
The creators of Mangia Stancia – Martin and Kosyo are long term friends and have always liked cooking. Together, they created a place, where the workers always feel peace and comfort while working. Angel is also an integral part of the team and is in charge of the kitchen and the working process.
In this interview, you’re going to read about harmony at work, taking care of the environment, about food and street food culture.
Table of Contents
A Short Presentation
A: Hey there! My name is Angel – a graduated engineer who changed his walk of life and is now dealing with cooking. Mangia Stancia is a dream came true and it all started from one food truck – Mangia Van. Simply speaking – for us, this is a lifestyle.
M: Hello. I am Martin. One of the founders of Mangia Stancia. This initiative is not only a lifestyle for us, but it also turned out to be a part of our professional development. We learn something new every day and as days go by, we realize how much we still have to learn. We go through the difficulties, which are a result of our choices and for us Mangia Stancia is really teaching us a lot.
A: Our main idea is for all the food to be prepared by us. The taco shells, the sauces, salsas etc. We feel Mexican cuisine close to the Bulgarian one and that’s why we make tacos and other Mexican food. Many of the products are directly delivered from Mexico, so it can be as authentic as possible – the Masa Harina flour, the chilli peppers and others. Our clients often see how we take the new flour out, mash it and bake it at the moment if we suddenly run out of tortillas. It only takes 4 to 5 minutes for the customer to get a pretty authentic taco.
Our policy requires us not to praise our food.
A: However, many of our customers tell us that they like it. Of course everybody has their own understanding of food. There are some people who say: ‘That’s not for me, it’s not my type of food.’ But even these people appreciate the fact that 90 % of our food is prepared here. A big part of our clients continue using our services, which is a certain sign for a development. We can all just stop by anywhere to get a snack and be gone after, but the difficult part is to make the customer want to come back. We are doing our best to accomplish that.
M: We are all informed as much as we decide to be. People choose themselves the areas of life they want to be closely related to. Those customers, who are curios and willing to know more, are welcome to ask and we tell them in details everything about the food preparation. So they know exactly what they are eating. Of course, there are other people, for whom it’s only important for the food to be delicious and that’s all they want to know about it.
I believe it’s important that people are curious about food. In my opinion, a lot of the people who are in the food industry in Bulgaria lack moral. That’s what we want to change by our own example. We truly believe in what we do, so when we talk to people it’s not only advertising – it’s our own opinion and belief.
It sounds easy to just cook something. But that food has an expiration date and we are certainly throwing that product away if nobody bought it before that. Unfortunately, there are plenty of ways to cheat in the kitchen and to ‘increase the life of a product’. We chose doing it the hard but honest way.
For One Cleaner Environment
M: In our kitchen we store our waste separately – that includes paper, plastic, metal and glass materials.
Another thing is that we take care of the eco-friendly bag we put the take-away food in. We use boxes, that are a lot easier to recycle than a plastic one, for instance. Bags that are more sustainable and ecological. These products are way more expensive than the plastic ones and it’s a big challenge for a small business like ours, but we have the courage to do it, because that’s how we believe things should be done.
M: Successively. Our current priority number one is for people to get to know us and our brand. Our idea is that the clients come and see where and how we cook, to see what we believe in. We would like to reach as much people as possible, who will give us a first chance and if we are good enough for them, we are going to get a second one after.
M: In 2019 we took part in several food festivals – Mood for Food in Plovdiv, Food Truck Fest in Sofia along with our colleagues from Street Chefs and Travel Cocktails and others who are a part from the Bulgarian Association of Mobile Kitchens and Bars.
I would like to pay attention to the 2-day festival near the ‘Ivan Vazov’ theatre, where the concept was food waste. The idea is to re-think the way people use products, when they cook professionally. When there is a lot of cooking, there is a lot of food waste, which can be re-used and not thrown away directly. For example, when we cut vegetables, we often remove some parts of it. These parts can be used to prepare bouillon. That way we use everything effectively and we help nature.
The Wish to Us
M: We love irony so I want to remind people to be careful what they put in their mouth. And to know that this will prevent them from many health problems. Our health care system doesn’t work efficiently and it’s our own task to take as much care for ourselves as possible. It all starts with the conscious choice of what you eat.
A: Be happy! And think of food as an investment to your own body and health.