Love food? You’ll love the Southside Assembly with Sorina Savascu | Meet the GirlCrewer #82
“Seeing the struggle to find great local produce, apart from what’s available at the farmers market, I’ve decided to open my own food assembly. I’ve chosen a location close to University to encourage students to buy fresh, local food.”
Many of us don’t always think about where our food has come from but GirlCrew Edinburgh member, Sorina Savascu, is on a mission to change that. If you’d like to harness modern technology to access local food suppliers then the Southside Food Assembly is the place for you. The Food Assembly is a very simple concept, you browse local suppliers online, fill your basket, and then meet the Assembly to collect your purchases. “Seeing the struggle to find great local produce, apart from what’s available at the farmers market, I’ve decided to open my own food assembly. I’ve chosen a location close to University to encourage students to buy fresh, local food.”
Originally from Romania, Sorina moved west to Scotland to study International Tourism Management at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. Like many of us, Sorina has a love of food and this was heavily influence by her childhood “I grew up going weekly to the farmers market with my mum. She would drag me out of bed at 6.30am on a Saturday morning to be the first ones at the market, to make sure she picks up the freshest, seasonal and local produce available. Obviously as a child, didn’t really understood, but now when I look back, that definitely influenced my lifestyle.”
Unfortunately, a move aboard to study meant that this tradition fell by the wayside as like all college students Sorina favoured speed and price above all else. “As a fresher in Aberdeen, I had other things to focus on instead of eating local, seasonal and fresh produce. With my new busy schedule of studying full time and working part-time, I wasn’t paying attention where I buy my food or where it comes from. Quick supermarket stop, buy, cook, eat, done.” Upon graduating Sorina made another move, this time to Edinburgh after landing a job as an Assistant Manager at Victor & Carina Contini Cannonball. The company focuses on using local artisanal producers, and the restaurant’s menus change monthly to reflect what’s available; allowing Sorina to fall back in love with her childhood traditions. “ I’ve started going to the farmers market again; however working in hospitality industry having Saturday off was a rare occasion. I first find out about the Food Assembly last year, when the first food assembly opened in Scotland…the Leith Food Assembly.”
Sorina launched the Southside Food Assembly to a great crowd and is currently focusing on growing the community, which is attracting all sorts of people from those that work nearby to locals, and students. “More and more producers are joining too, nearly every week we register a new one! Now you can order from a selection of breads and cakes, seasonal veggies and fruits, organic eggs, wide range of meat cuts, jams & chutneys and many more!”
The next collection date for the Southside Food Assembly is Tuesday 15th November, so don’t miss out. You can order here.
1) What is the best thing about your role?
Getting to meet and collaborate with amazing local farmers and foodmakers. Because of this, every day I feel I know Scotland a little bit better. Also, since I’ve launched the Southside Food Assembly, I’m shopping and cooking mainly with locally-sourced ingredients. It is also fun to create new dishes every week, taking into consideration the veg boxes are seasonal and always different every week.
2) What did you find most challenging about it?
The challenging part of setting up this food assembly was and still is trying to encourage people to join. Because Food Assembly is a relatively new way of shopping in Scotland (it only started last year by Leith Food Assembly) , people struggle with the concept of planning well in advance their shopping list. It’s not impossible…is just a bit challenging 🙂
3) What is your proudest work related achievement to date?
Definitely launching the Southside Food Assembly. Been working on the launch for about 6 months with lots of hiccups, but it finally happened. The first collection and launch party was small, but full of amazing people. Seeing farmers, foodmakers and all the foodies together it was a dream come true. The atmosphere screamed Scotland: friendliness, smiles, good times, great food and drink. In a word…ScotSpirit.
4) What would be your one tip to others who want to get involved in this industry?
You need to have a real passion for great food & drink and patience. It takes time to meet and know all these great Scottish farmers and foodmakers out there. They are people with a very busy schedule, and not an office 9-5. When they commit to bring your food order in person, appreciate it. They give up their free evening to be part of your community.
5) What would be your motto in life, and in work?
Be true to yourself. I believe you need 3 main things in life: passion, balance and commitment. If you don’t have passion for the work you do…you will never give 100% and never commit. I also believe that you need to have a balance between work and personal life. Knowing when to stop…and when to start.
6) What’s your favourite thing about being in GirlCrew?
Being a new member, it’s difficult to say. But what I’ve heard and observed, GirlCrew it’s a great way to meet new people, socialise, share same interests and find out new ones too! I look forward to get involved more with this community and attend future events.