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Sometimes in life, you follow a wave that leads you exactly where you were meant to be. This is the story of Iulia and Liliana who have just opened Onda, a vegan café in the Gare neighbourhood of Luxembourg. We are happy to share their journey.
Iulia and Liliana are both from Roumania, but that’s not why they’ve decided to partner together and create Onda. Their story began with a common situation: Iulia had just resigned from her job in finance and Liliana, who was working at the European Institution, was eager to change her career path. At the same time, Iulia heard that the Oak Bistro’ space was to rent. “I have loved this place since it opened its doors 10 years ago. I knew in my heart that if I ever opened my own business, it would be here,” says Iulia. And that’s exactly what happened.
The two partners sat together, exchanged their ideas, and realised that they shared the exact same ones. They both wanted to create a small and cosy place where people could drop by for a bite, eating healthy and comforting food, and above all where they would relax and take their time. Onda was born. “Onda refers to a wave, a form of vibration, a frequency, all of which have a powerful meaning” explains Liliana.
A place with heart
They both took time to find the perfect colors for the interior that they painted in salmon pink and green, giving a warming atmosphere. The furnitures are all second hand and Iulia and Liliana have paid attention to small details that make the difference. Hence, all the table ware has been made in Romania by a ceramist artist, who works with soil. “Each piece is unique.”
With a degree in nutrition and naturopathie, Iulia has at heart to offer vegan and healthy food to their customers. They only use organic and plant-based products. Vegetables are from Les Paniers de Sandrine or the local markets, and they obviously follow the seasons. “We have a small menu, but all the food is made with consciousness and love, and we believe that this is transmitted in our food.”
On the menu, each day a soup made by Liliana, a dip bowl served with a hummus and raw vegetables, a smoothie bowl. All is homemade, even the crackers that are served with the dip!
For the sweet tooth, Iulia bakes vegan cakes every day. “I use no sugar in my recipes, to nourish the body and give you high energy for the day!” During our visit, we tried a coconut, dates and oat based raw tart that was soft and surprisingly sweet!
As for drinks, three types of smoothies are prepared. “One red, one yellow and one green! There is also a wide choice of tea and infusions. Some blends are from Tea and More in Dudelange (specialised in organic tea) and others are “homemade” by Iulia and Liliana. “We are very flexible and can accommodate everyone’s taste” says Iulia.
For coffee lovers, Liliana has selected a specialty coffee from Romania, “Origo”. “We are not coffee experts, but we wanted to offer great quality beans to our clients. We were lucky enough to receive support from other specialty coffee places in Luxembourg, such as Intense, Florence or Curious Buds, that taught us the secrets for great coffee.”
The milk is made every day by Iulia, with local hazelnuts. Thus, when you go there, be sure to ask for a nutccino. “I am really proud to offer this product, that reminds me of the cashew milk that I used to drink back home in my favorite coffee place” confesses Iulia.
More than a café
The owners also want to sell the work of craft persons that they really like. They have selected some artisanal items in store. “We also want to organise workshops, ateliers, concerts, private diner. We want Onda to live and be a place of exchange and meetings.”
The two partners can’t wait to start their journey! Onda is a good place to go for a relaxing cup of tea with healthy comfort food, and most importantly, feel free to chat with the co-founders, busy behind the open kitchen, but happy to share their story.
Opening hours: 9.30 am to 4 pm (closed on Tuesday).
Header Picture: Onda