28 February 2023, 15:30 PM
  • Vasilisa, Daria, and Malika, the three founders of Grechka, share their favourite things about the food industry and their inspirations with Speciality Food
5 minutes with the founders of Grechka

What would you be doing if you weren’t in the food industry?
Vasilisa: I was in the sports and wellness industry before entering the food industry. I believe I would stay in the wellness industry as I see it all interconnects.
Daria: I am grateful to be in the food industry as it has taught me about health, wellness, and self-care. If I weren’t in this field, I would likely have stayed in fashion, although I didn’t enjoy it much.
Malika: If Grechka hadn’t inspired me, I would still be working in my previous corporate job. Ideally, I would focus on teaching Pilates and try to make it a full-time job.

What was your first job?
Vasilisa: My first ever paid work was as a marketing executive in an online wine shop. So, kind of food industry too!
Daria: My first job was an internship in a clothing showroom, where I sold a well-known brand. That’s when I first visited Paris and Milan fashion week and learned the basics of sales.
Malika: Volunteering at the legal clinic, I was keen to help and defend those in need. The first paid job was working as a lawyer for the energy provider - very different vibes to volunteering! Thankfully, I escaped the stuffy environment there when moved to London a year later.

What inspires you?
Vasilisa: I am inspired by how just one idea can create a business, great connections, happy customers, and meaning in life at the end. I have a truly entrepreneurial spirit.
Daria: My family and future inspire me. My goals and aspirations drive me to work harder every day, and I have an insatiable desire for knowledge and growth.
Malika: Meeting incredible entrepreneurs with the mindset of making any idea (sometimes a crazy one!) possible. I’m especially inspired by other female founders as I see how we are changing the boardrooms in real time and particularly by women juggling business, kids, and relationships. It’s tough!

What’s the worst job you’ve done?
Vasilisa: When I worked in a lifestyle magazine, I hated cold calling for selling sponsorships. But I gained experience in event organisation so I am still grateful for that work.
Daria: My worst job was as a marketing executive in the gaming industry. It was extremely boring and I learned very little during my year there.
Malika: Dealing with some awful people in my team while working in compliance was tough. I learned a lesson to take action when things don’t seem right.

What’s your favourite part of your job?
Vasilisa: I love the creativity in my work. As I am responsible for the marketing side of the business, I love to create interesting marketing initiatives, campaigns, and social media content. As we are at the beginning of our journey, I work on branding strategy and I really love this part of formalising business values, mission, tone of voice etc.
Daria: The versatility of my job is my favourite part, just like Grechka. I love being involved in various business sectors and learning something new every day. I also enjoy promoting knowledge about health and wellness, as well as selling healthy and delicious super grain that can have a significant impact on people’s health.
Malika: Connecting with people, be it customers, industry experts, advisors or other founders. Sharing good energy is key for growing our business and being able to listen to our customers is ever so valuable. Hearing how they love Grechka Buckwheat after trying it for the first (or 100th!) time is music to my ears.

And your least favourite?
Vasilisa: For me it is hard to name any. I honestly appreciate any kind of work I am doing now.
Daria: Managing expectations is my least favourite. Sometimes, we want so much but it takes time, money, and effort to achieve it, and sometimes things just happen unexpectedly.
Malika: Managing spreadsheets and other admin bits - yes, annoyingly these things still need to be done!

How about the food industry?
Vasilisa: I love seeing the opportunities for small new brands in the food industry. I think the industry becoming more and more open for small start-ups and this is great.
Daria: The food industry is incredibly challenging, and the vast array of options makes it difficult to stand out. Nevertheless, Grechka stands out in its own way. I also appreciate how the food industry is evolving and that people are becoming more conscious of health. However, the domination of junk food and unhealthy products in the market only strengthens my desire to promote wellness.
Malika: I find it very friendly and supportive, so many people are keen to help and share their expertise. The industry is transforming daily with new innovative solutions applied to the full cycle of production and distribution and with increasing awareness of well-being and how it can be achieved in simple steps.
I’m excited to be part of this community of food-preneurs.

What would be your last supper?
Vasilisa: A salad with glazed baked salmon mixed with avocado and of course, Grechka Buckwheat.
Daria: Grechka with pesto, parmesan cheese, and fresh cherry tomatoes. I could eat it every day.
Malika: Would it be too cheesy to say - Grechka buckwheat? If I had to choose it would be lots of tiger prawns cooked in a chilli sauce… with Grechka on the side!

What’s your motto?
Vasilisa: I am not afraid to fail, I am exited to try.
Daria: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift—that’s why it’s called the present.” The future depends on what we do today.
Malika: I know very little but I’m keen to share it all. And always happy to learn a little more day by day.
GRECHKA’S motto is: Grechka is your well-being.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Vasilisa: Wild garlic pesto.
Daria: I am very selective and have a sensitive palate. Probably the weirdest thing I’ve ever tried is pigeon, just the thought of it made me lose my appetite.
Malika: I tried a bat for dinner when was in Seychelles. I couldn’t finish it. The taste was strange, to say the least.

What’s your favourite book?
Vasilisa: Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell.
Daria: I love reading so many different genres that it’s difficult to choose just one book. However, the books I keep re-reading are The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.
Malika: There are many. I’m a big fan of the one I’m currently reading - Untamed by Glennon Doyle. The main message is to stop pleasing, and start living.

Sweet or savoury?
Vasilisa: I am not a sweеt tooth and always choose savoury meals.
Daria: This is a tough question, as I love both. If I had to choose, I would probably choose sweet. Grechka with almond butter, and berries cooked in coconut milk and sprinkled with cocoa and agave syrup.
Malika: Grechka is delicious in both variations so it’s a tough call. I’ll choose savoury as I naturally fall for salty/pickled/spicy foods rather than sweet. I could live off ceviche forever!